Norway’s $1 trillion sovereign wealth fund suffers first-quarter losses

Key Points
  • Norway's sovereign wealth fund is currently worth around $1 trillion.
  • It has lost around $23 billion in value during the first quarter.
  • The fund owns an average 1.4 percent of the world's listed stocks.
An offshore oil rig off the coast of Norway.
Nerijus Adomaitis | Reuters

Norway's sovereign wealth fund has reported first-quarter losses on its investments, citing falling stock markets.

The fund's return was minus 1.5 percent, lagging the positive return of 3.5 percent at the end of last year.

The country's $1 trillion rainy day savings pot is the biggest state fund in the world. It was established in 1990 to invest the surplus revenues of the Norwegian petroleum sector and it now owns an average 1.4 percent of the world's listed stocks.

"The most important expression of risk in the fund is that the strategic equity share is set to 70 percent," Yngve Slyngstad, Norges Bank Investment Management's chief executive, said in a statement.

"This means that fluctuations in the fund's value are predominantly determined by the development in global stock markets."

In the first quarter, 11 billion kroner ($1.38 billion) was withdrawn from the fund. Norges Bank, which manages the fund, said the krone appreciated against several of the main currencies during the quarter, decreasing the value of the state-owned pot by about 183 billion kroner.

As at March 31, the fund had 66.2 percent invested in equities, 2.7 percent in unlisted real estate and 31.2 percent in fixed income.