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Sovereign Wealth Funds

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund returns 9.1% in first quarter

Norway's Government Pension Fund Global, Oslo, returned 9.1% in the first quarter on a strong equity market recovery and high returns in tech stocks, helping to push the sovereign wealth fund's assets to 8.94 trillion Norwegian kroner ($1.04 trillion).

The return equated to a 738 billion kroner gain for the quarter. That sovereign wealth fund gained 4% for the year ended March 31.

The annualized net return for the five years ended March 31 was 6.23% and 9.8% over the 10-year period.

An update from world's largest sovereign wealth fund showed that equities, which accounted for 69.2% of the fund's allocation, returned 12% for the quarter, compared with -12.6% in the previous quarter and -2.2% for the year-earlier quarter.

The biggest gain was from North American stocks, which returned 14%. U.S. stocks, the sovereign wealth fund's single largest market allocation at 39.2%, gained 14.5%. European stocks returned 11.1%; U.K. equities added 11.8%; and Asia and Oceania equities returned a combined 10.3%.

The sovereign wealth fund's 28% fixed-income allocation added 2.9% for the quarter vs. a 1.3% gain for the previous quarter and -0.4% for the first quarter of 2018.

The fund's 2.8% unlisted real estate allocation returned 1.7% for the quarter, compared with 1.1% in the previous quarter and 2.5% in the year-earlier period.

"This is the fund's best quarterly return measured in kroner ever," said Yngve Slyngstad, CEO of Norges Bank Investment Management, the sovereign wealth fund's manager, in a news release. "As a major equity investor, we must be prepared for large fluctuations in the fund's market value in line with developments in global stock markets."