The world’s largest sovereign wealth fund just missed its own target

Key Points
  • The Government Pension Fund Global returned 1.8 percent in the second quarter.
  • The fund's benchmark target , set by the government, is 2 percent.
  • Norway is home to the world's largest sovereign wealth fund.
A Norwegian flag flies from a boat near the assembly site of offshore floating wind turbines.
Carina Johansen | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Norway's $1 trillion sovereign wealth fund has missed its target returns in the second quarter after its investments failed to fire.

Norges Bank, which manages the Government Pension Fund Global, said Tuesday that it had returned 1.8 percent, or 167 billion kroner ($19.8 billion), in the second quarter of 2018.

The return on the fund was 0.2 percentage points lower than the benchmark index set by the country's ministry of finance.

Stock investments generated 2.7 percent in returns, unlisted real estate investments brought in a 1.9 percent gain, but fixed-income investments returned nothing at all.

In stocks, Amazon made the biggest contribution to equity returns, followed by Apple and Royal Dutch Shell.

"North American and European stocks had a positive development in the quarter despite the prospect of increased trade barriers. This made a positive contribution to the fund's return," said Trond Grande, deputy CEO of Norges Bank Investment Management.

In the bond market, European government bond holdings generated a 2.2 percent loss, adding to a 1 percent loss from Japanese bonds. Those losses were largely offset by a 3.1 percent gain from U.S. Treasurys.

Norges Bank reported that the fund had a total market value of 8,337 billion kroner ($988.4 billion) as of June 30 and its investment split worked out at 66.8 percent in equities, 2.6 percent in unlisted real estate and 30.6 percent in fixed income.