Monday, March 30, 2020

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund lost 115 billion euros

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The collapse of the stock markets costs the Norwegian sovereign wealth fund, the richest in the world, dearly. Since the beginning of 2020, it has lost 115 billion euros (1,330 billion crowns) and weighs only 875 billion euros. In question, the plunge of 23% of all of its equity investments, which represent two thirds of the portfolio.

Others “Significant fluctuations” are expected in the coming weeks, warned the head of the fund, Yngve Slyngstad. In the meantime, this loss does not completely erase the historic gain of 1,692 billion crowns, up 20% from 2018, garnered last year, he said. This gain was due to “Positive stock market returns in all its main markets and in all sectors

Conversely, the coronavirus crisis has led to significant disparities in the fund’s investments: oil stocks dropped 45% and the technology sector dropped 14%. Investments in bonds and real estate, which make up the rest of the portfolio, have posted almost zero returns since the start of the year.

Founded in 1990 to leverage state oil revenues for future generations, the Norwegian sovereign wealth fund is one of the world’s largest investors with interests in more than 9,200 companies. It holds the equivalent of 1.5% of the world capitalization. Its largest holdings include Apple, Microsoft, Nestlé, Amazon and Alphabet, Google’s parent company. The fund, which claims ethical investment choices, has shrunk the year
last, without leaving the sector, its stakes in oil companies.

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