31 May 2007

Investing non-renewable revenues

A retired St. John's financial consultant is recommending the provincial government follow the example of other jurisdictions, including Alaska and Norway, and invest revenues from oil and gas development in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Bastedo figures Newfoundlanders and Labradorians would receive dividends between Cdn$3,000 and $3,300 once its own fund is worth $25 billion-$30 billion.

Established in 1976, the Alaska fund receives at least 25 per cent of the state's oil royalties and other income, such as mineral lease payments.

Six years later, the fund started paying dividend cheques to native Alaskans and those who had lived in the state for more than 21 years. Those dividends are based on a formula and the amount varies annually.

The lowest payments were US$331 in 1984, while the highest was US$1,964 in 2000.
The Norwegian fund, which is invested only in international markets, reported first quarter earnings of over US$300 billion in 2007.