Trading volumes in February 1994 fell to one-third of their normal level. While the average daily value of trading in 1994 was around NOK 500 million, the daily average fell to NOK 176 million during the Lillehammer Winter Olympics. During events where Norway was in contention for a gold medal, stock exchange trading ground to a halt. On 21 February 1994, when the Norwegian women’s cross-country relay team won a silver medal just behind the outstanding Russian team, trading volume was only NOK 123 million, and trading was almost as restricted on the following day when Bjørn Dæhlie just lost out on a gold medal for Norway to Silvio Fauner in the final leg of the men’s cross-country relay.
During the two weeks since the start of the Sochi Winter Olympics, share trading has actually shown a sharp increase. The average daily value of trading for February to date has been NOK 4.75 billion, with a daily average of 94, 800 transactions. Compared to February last year, trading is up by 33.4% by value and 20.1% by number of transactions.
Trading in just one hour was almost three times greater than in the course of an entire day during the Lillehammer Winter Olympics. When Maiken Caspersen Falla and Ole Vigen Hattestad both won gold in their cross-country sprint events last Thursday between 14:00 and 15:00, the value of share trading was NOK 395 million. During the team cross-country sprint events on Wednesday, the hourly value of trading was between NOK 230 million and NOK 280 million, even though this was right in the middle of the Norwegian winter half-term holiday week.
The fact that trading volumes on Oslo Børs have been so little affected by this year’s winter Olympics and the half-term holiday week can be explained by the much larger involvement of foreign investors on Oslo Børs than was the case 20 years ago. Foreign investors now hold 37% of the value of shares listed on Oslo Børs, and account for more than 80% of trading.