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Norway wealth fund rose USD 44 billion as stock markets gained

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund rose NOK 412 billion kroner (USD 44 billion) in the third quarter as global stock markets continued to rally.

Photo: Tony Colli/PR

The fund’s overall return was 4.3pp ercent, which was 3 basis points lower than its benchmark index. The positive run followed a negative return of 3.4 percent in the first half.

"The financial markets were still influenced by uncertainty related to the coronavirus," said Nicolai Tangen, the new chief executive officer of Norges Bank Investment Management. “Regardless, equity markets returned well, mostly due to strong performance in the technology sector in the U.S.” Tangen started as CEO on September 1.

The fund’s stock portfolio rose 5.7 percent, while fixed income investments gained 1.1 percent. Investments in unlisted real estate returned 0.9%, it said. The fund had a value of 10.6 trillion kroner at Sept. 30, of which 70.7 percent was invested in equities, 2.7 percent in unlisted real estate, and 26.6 percent in fixed income.

Fund withdrawals will reach a record this year as the Norwegian government taps the fund for economic measures to help overcome the Covid-19 crisis. The government plans to withdraw about 347 billion kroner in 2020. In the third quarter, it withdrew 105 billion kroner, NBIM said.

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