* Fund is one of the world’s largest investors
* Fund had $2.9 mln invested in Telecom Argentina
By Ole Petter Skonnord
HAUGESUND, Norway, May 23 (Reuters) - Norway’s $870 billion sovereign wealth fund, one of the world’s largest investors, has pulled its investments out of Argentina, a top fund official said on Friday, blaming the government’s protectionist policies there.
Latin America’s No. 3 economy has been struggling to maintain investor confidence following repeated market interventions by President Cristina Fernandez and amid an ongoing legal battle over a massive debt default.
Her administration also heavily regulates capital flows and imports.
“We have pulled out from Argentina,” Trond Grande, the fund’s deputy chief executive, told a business seminar.
“Many (in Argentina) are concerned by foreign capital so they have introduced restrictions on how much dividend you can take out from firms. This is one of the reasons why we are unsure about whether we can get our money back.”
The fund held 17 million crowns ($2.86 million) of shares in Telecom Argentina - its only holding in the country - at the end of last year. The fund did not have any bond holdings.
Grande declined to comment further.
$1 = 5.9476 Norwegian Kroner Writing by Gwladys Fouche; Editing by Mark Potter