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(Thomas Nilsen/The Independent Barents Observer)

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, the world’s largest, posted a profit of US$84 billion in the first quarter on a strong stock market following last year’s heavy losses, the central bank said on Friday.

A strong display showing a return of 5.9% wiped out about half of the fund’s massive US$165.4 billion loss last year amid turmoil over the start of the war in Ukraine.

One of the world’s largest investors, the fund was valued at a staggering $1.34 trillion at the end of March. This equates to almost $245,000 for her 5.5 million inhabitants in Norway.

“Equity investments made the most positive contribution to the quarter’s returns,” said Tron Grande, the fund’s deputy director, in a statement.

“The stock market rally was largely driven by the technology and consumer discretionary sectors,” he added.

Powered by earnings from Norway’s state-owned oil and gas company, the fund aims to fund future spending in the generous welfare state.

According to the Sovereign Wealth Funds Institute (SWFI) ranking, Norway’s fund is the largest in the world, slightly ahead of China Investment Corporation, followed by Abu Dhabi, Kuwait and Singapore.

Stocks, which accounted for 70.1% of the Norwegian fund’s portfolio at the end of March, returned 7.4% in the first quarter.

The fund invests in over 9,200 companies worldwide representing 1.5% of total market capitalization.

Fixed income investments, which account for 27.3% of assets, rose 2.7% over the period.

Property holdings and unlisted renewable energy project holdings were down 1% and 3.8% from 2.4% and 0.1%, respectively.

— AFP Norwegian Wealth Funds Generate Strong Quarterly Revenues of USD 84 Billion

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