Nor­we­gian wealth fund dou­bles re­turn in 2017 as stock mar­ket booms

Arab News - - BUSINESS -

OSLO: Nor­way’s $1 tril­lion sov­er­eign wealth fund, the world’s largest, dou­bled its re­turn on in­vest­ment in 2017, beat­ing its bench­mark, as strong global stock mar­kets boosted the value of the port­fo­lio, it said on Tues­day.

The fund earned a re­turn of 13.7 per­cent in 2017, up from 6.9 per­cent in 2016.

“The fund’s cu­mu­la­tive re­turn since in­cep­tion has passed 4,000 bil­lion Nor­we­gian crowns ($511 bil­lion). One out of four crowns of re­turn was gen­er­ated in 2017, af­ter a very strong year for the fund,” CEO Yngve Slyn­gstad said in a state­ment.

“Again, our eq­uity in­vest­ments re­turned strong­est with a re­turn close to 20 per­cent.”

The fund in­vests the pro­ceeds from Nor­way’s oil and gas pro­duc­tion for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions in stocks, bonds and real es­tate abroad.

It is one of the world’s largest share­hold­ers, with in­vest­ments in around 9,100 com­pa­nies world­wide, equiv­a­lent to 1.4 per­cent of listed com­pa­nies glob­ally.

The fund’s big­gest sin­gle com­pany in­vest­ment at the end of 2017 was in Ap­ple Inc, worth 66 bil­lion crowns, ahead of Nes­tle at 51 bil­lion and Royal Dutch Shell at 50 bil­lion.

Ap­ple was also the big­gest sin­gle con­trib­u­tor to the fund’s re­turns in 2017, ahead of Chi­nese tech group Ten­cent Hold­ings and Mi­crosoft.

The fund’s size is equiv­a­lent to $200,000 for every Nor­we­gian man, woman and child.

The gov­ern­ment with­drew 61 bil­lion Nor­we­gian crowns dur­ing 2017 to pay for pub­lic ex­penses, com­pared with 101 bil­lion crowns in 2016.

CEO Yngve Slyn­gstad earned an an­nual salary of 6.7 mil­lion crowns. His chief in­vest­ment of­fi­cer for eq­uity strate­gies, Pet­ter Johnsen, earned more, with 7.4 mil­lion crowns. By com­par­i­son, the coun­try’s prime min­is­ter, Erna Sol­berg, earned 1.6 mil­lion crowns.

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