Norway’s SWF posts 10.9% return of US$125B last year and reveals total asset of US$1.3T

Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) returned 10.9% in 2020 last year, despite the COVID-19 pandemic affecting world’s economy. This was announced by the Norwegian wealth fund last month (Jan 2021).

The sovereign wealth fund’s investment return was equivalent to 1.07 trillion Norwegian kroner (US$124.9 billion). The fund returned 19.9% in 2019, or 1.69 trillion kroner.

GPFG’s annualized return over the 10 years ended Dec. 31 was 8%, compared with 7.8% for the decade ended Dec. 31, 2019.

Assets grew 8.2% over the year to 10.91 trillion kroner as of Dec. 31. The fund’s asset allocation as of Dec. 31 was 72.8% equities, 24.7% fixed income and 2.5% unlisted real estate. That compared with 70.8% equities, 26.5% fixed income and 2.7% unlisted real estate a year earlier.

“Despite the pandemic having put its mark on 2020, it has been yet another good year for the fund. The fund’s overall return in 2020 was the second highest since 1998 measured in kroner. However, the high return also reminds us that the market value of the fund might vary a lot going forward,” Oystein Olsen, who is the chairman of the executive board, said.

A total of 298 billion kroner was withdrawn from GPFG.

As of today (9 Feb), the GPFG has a total asset worth 11.1 trillion Norwegian kroner (US$1.3 trillion), which it published openly online:

MOF: “Not in national interest to publish reserves”

Meanwhile, it was also reported last month that Singapore’s GIC emerged as the most active state-owned investor globally in 2020.

GIC retained its position as most active for the second consecutive year. The state-owned investor deployed $17.7 billion last year, down from $24 billion a year before, according to Global SWF which tracks investments made by state-owned investors.

Global SWF also said that Temasek Holdings was the top tech investor last year, plowing US$2.3 billion into tech investments. For example, it added US$62 million to the investments it had made in India’s Zomato, an online food delivery player since 2015. Temasek is a major investor in Zomato.

More recently in October, it emerged that Temasek was investing in Indonesian e-commerce giant Tokopedia.

In any case, the funds managed by GIC are not made public.

On its website, MOF explained, “What has been revealed is that GIC manages well over US$100 billion. Revealing the exact size of assets that GIC manages will, taken together with the published assets of MAS and Temasek, amount to publishing the full size of Singapore’s financial reserves.”

“It is not in our national interest to publish the full size of our reserves. If we do so, it will make it easier for markets to mount speculative attacks on the Singapore dollar during periods of vulnerability,” it added.

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