World Economy

Norway Wealth Fund Hits Record $1 Trillion

Norway Wealth Fund Hits Record $1 TrillionNorway Wealth Fund Hits Record $1 Trillion

The value of Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, the world’s largest, hit $1 trillion for the first time on Tuesday as booming global stock markets and a rising euro lifted its assets.

Established in 1998 to save oil and gas revenues for future generations, the wealth fund is now worth about 2.5 times Norway’s annual gross domestic product, against original projections it would peak at 1.3 times of GDP in the 2020s, Reuters reported.

At 1034 GMT, a live update on the fund’s website showed its value at 7.851 trillion Norwegian crowns ($1.00 trillion).

Run by a unit of the central bank, the fund invests all its money in foreign stocks, bonds and real estate, with holdings spread among 77 countries.

Almost two thirds of assets were held in equities at the end of the second quarter, with stakes in about 9,000 companies, giving it control over 1.3% of all globally listed stocks.

By contrast, Norway’s population of 5.3 million people corresponds to less than 0.1% of the world’s population. The fund’s rapid rise has made more money available for public spending under parliament’s budget framework.

Under a recently revised fiscal rule, governments can spend 3% of the fund’s value per year, corresponding to 235 billion crowns of the current size. The 2017 budget earmarks 221 billion for spending, or 2.8% of the value.

The world’s largest sovereign wealth fund has unveiled radical proposals to transform its bond investment by turning its back on corporate debt and fixed income in currencies other than dollars, euros and pounds.

Norway’s $990 billion oil fund proposed a number of big changes to its benchmark index for bonds in a letter published last week to the country’s finance ministry, which takes the main decisions on asset allocation.


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