UPDATE 2-Norway oil fund to invest more in China, urges openness

Fri Oct 25, 2013 8:30am EDT
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* Will not address tax avoidance with Google, Apple, Starbucks

* Sharply cuts French, Canadian government bond holdings

* Hikes holdings in Mexican, Brazilian, South Korean debt

* Returns 5 pct in Q3, in top 10 of fund's best quarters

By Joachim Dagenborg and Gwladys Fouche

OSLO, Oct 25 (Reuters) - Norway's $810 billion sovereign wealth fund, one of the world's biggest investors, will increase its investments in China by 50 percent to $1.5 billion and would like to do even more, its chief executive told Reuters.

The head of the fund, a major investor in Google, Starbucks and Apple, also said on Friday he would not take up the issue of tax avoidance with the firms it invests in, despite the fund's ethical profile.

The fund, which invests Norway's vast surplus of oil money, is the world's richest sovereign wealth fund and holds about 1 percent of all global equities.

It has been shifting away from European assets towards Asia and emerging markets to seek higher returns. Investing in the world's second-largest economy is a key part of that strategy.   Continued...