Statoil has named Leif Terje Loeddesoel as the new chairman of Norway's biggest company, he is replacing Ole Lund as the oil producer steps up its international expansion plans. Loeddesoel, 66, is the chairman of shipper Wilh. Wilhelmsen and was president of the Norwegian Shipowners' Association until recently. The lawyer was heading Statoil's election committee to find a replacement for Lund, who said in November he will step down. Statoil's seeking a new chairman to help the state controlled company turn its focus to exploring for oil outside Norway after a $2.9 billion share sale in June. The Stavanger, Norway based oil producer needs to increase its international assets as domestic fields are set to decline from 2004 onwards. “It must have been a wish to get someone with a broad international background that made them ask me,” said Loeddesoel in an interview. “The election committee met behind my back, approached me and I said yes to a nomination.”
After it turned out that Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov included the Fonbet betting company in the list of backbone enterprises that can count on state support, everyone started talking about these bookmakers.