World’s largest sovereign wealth fund reports $21 billion loss after ‘volatile’ first half of the year

Norwegian flag in front of the city hall building in Oslo.

@ Didier Marti | Moment | Getty Images

Norway’s huge pension fund — the largest sovereign wealth fund in the world — reported negative returns for the first half of the year on Tuesday, citing “major fluctuations” in equity markets.

The Government Pension Fund Global said it returned -3.4% for the first six months of 2020, equivalent to -188 billion kroner (-$21.3 billion).

“There were major fluctuations in the equity market in this period. The year started with optimism, but the outlook of the equity market quickly turned when the Corona virus started to spread globally,” Deputy CEO of Norges Bank Investment Management Trond Grande said in a statement.

“However, the sharp stock market decline of the first quarter was limited by a massive monetary and financial policy response.”

The fund’s total market value at the end of the six months was 10.4 trillion kroner, with 69.6% invested in equities, 27.6% in fixed income and 2.8% in unlisted real estate.

Its equity investments fell -6.8% and its real estate returned -1.6% over the first half, although its fixed-income investments rose by 5.1%.

According to the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute, Norway has the largest wealth fund in the world, when ranked by total assets, followed by the China Investment Corporation and Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.

Correction: The text of this article has been updated to reflect that the total market value of Norway’s pension fund is 10.4 trillion kroner.

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