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Insurance group lures Norwegians to tax paradise

The Norwegian Storebrand Group allegedly tires to lure Norwegians to invest in the problem prone tax paradise Cayman Islands.

Storebrand Selecta Ltd. was established July 1 of last year, and the company decided to invest NOK 330 million (USD 49 million) into nine different hedgefonds on the Cayman Islands, according to the Norwegian financial paper Dagens Næringsliv.

Ove Christian Norheim, CEO of Storebrand Alternative Investments said to the paper that the Cayman funds functions almost in the same way as a Norwegian unit trust where the owners can buy and sell their shares according to their liking.

Norheim stresses that the reason for placing the money on the Cayman Islands is to increase the investments. The goal is an annual rate of return of 12 percent.

Morten Eriksen, chief prosecutor at Økokrim, said to the paper that the Cayman Islands are a problem prone tax paradise. The authorities are reluctant to provide information, and it is very hard for foreigners to get access to documents.

“I do not know the reason why Storebrand does this, but I presume that everything must be fine since the company does this,” Eriksen said.

The Storebrand Group is a major player in the Norwegian markets for pensions, life- and health insurance, banking and asset management.

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