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Sovereign Wealth Funds

Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global returns 2.1% for quarter

Norway's Government Pension Fund Global, Oslo, returned 2.1% for the quarter ended Sept. 30, as gains in North American stocks helped bolster assets to 8.48 trillion Norwegian kroner ($1 trillion).

The return equated to a 174 billion kroner gain. That compared with a 1.9%, or 167 billion kroner, return for the three months ended June 30; and a 3.2%, or 192 billion kroner, gain in the third quarter of 2017.

An update by the world's largest sovereign wealth fund showed assets grew 1.7% over the quarter and 6.6% for the year ended Sept. 30.

Equity investments, which accounted for 67.6% of the fund's allocation, returned 3.2% for the quarter, compared with a 2.7% return for the previous quarter and 4.3% for the year-earlier quarter.

The strongest equity returns were from North America, which gained 7%. U.S. stocks — the sovereign wealth fund's single largest market allocation at 39.1% — gained 7.3%.

European stocks gained 0.7%; allocations to the U.K. equity lost 1.6%; and Asia and Oceania returned a combined 0.4%.

A fixed-income allocation of 29.7% lost 0.3% in the quarter, following a 0.02% loss for the quarter ended June 30 and a 0.9% gain for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2017.

The fund's 2.7% real estate allocation gained 1.9%, compared with 1.9% for the previous quarter and a 2.7% return for the year-earlier quarter.

The sovereign wealth fund also lost 46 billion kroner due to appreciation of the krone vs. other currencies.

"The market development was affected by expectations of differing economic growth and uncertainty about the effects of increased trade barriers," said Yngve Slyngstad, CEO of Norges Bank Investment Management — which manages the fund's assets — in a statement accompanying the update.