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Weeks after investing in Sirius Minerals, Norway’s sovereign wealth fund takes stake in Metro Bank

The fund, thought to be the largest of its kind in the world, has taken a 3.1% stake in Metro Bank, which had to tap the market for more money last week to shore up its balance sheet

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Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global is pivoting away from its historic focus on oil

Norway’s trillion-dollar sovereign wealth fund has poured some of its huge resources into another company listed on the FTSE 250: Metro Bank PLC (LON:MTRO).

The challenger bank was forced to raise £375mln last week to bolster its balance sheet after a major accounting error earlier in the year left it undercapitalised.

READ: Norwegian sovereign wealth fund buys into Sirius Minerals

It offered shares to investors at a steep discount to the prevailing price, and Norges Bank, which manages Norway’s wealth fund, was one of those which took part.

The fund now has a 3.1% stake in Metro Bank, worth just over £20mln.

Its investment in Metro comes just a couple of weeks after it took a stake in Sirius Minerals PLC (LON:SXX) – the FTSE 250 firm which is currently building a huge fertiliser mine in North Yorkshire.

The purchase of shares in Sirius and Metro comes as the sovereign wealth fund pivots away from its historic focus on oil.

Originally formed as Norway’s ‘oil fund’ with the piles of cash generated by the country’s vast petroleum reserves, the Government Pension Fund Global, as it is officially known, has been told by the Norwegian government to focus less on oil and gas firms.

Metro Bank shares were up 3.2% to 677p on Tuesday.

Quick facts: Metro Bank

Price: 171.2 GBX

LSE:MTRO
Market: LSE
Market Cap: £293.63 m
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