Stock market rally boosts results
The Government Pension Fund Global returned 4.7 percent, or 167 billion kroner, in the third quarter of 2012.
"The result was largely driven by a rally in global stock markets," says Yngve Slyngstad, chief executive officer of Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), which manages the fund. "Stocks gained the most in Europe, where the fund has about half of its shareholdings."
Equity investments returned 6.5 percent and fixed-income investments returned 2.2 percent. The return on these investments was 0.03 percentage point lower than the return on the fund's benchmark indices. Investments in real estate returned 2.7 percent.
The fund in the quarter reduced its holdings of French and Spanish government debt. It boosted its investments in US and Japanese government bonds and increased its holdings of government bonds issued in the currencies of emerging economies such as South Korea, Mexico and Russia. The changes reflect a strategy to gradually reduce the fund's share of European bonds while increasing bond investments in other regions.
The fund in July agreed to buy 50 percent of five properties in Paris from Generali Group for 275 million euros, or about 2.1 billion kroner. The parties also agreed to form a joint venture where Generali Real Estate provides asset management services.
"We have since the end of the quarter invested in the UK Meadowhall shopping centre with British Land as a partner and agreed to invest in two properties in Germany with AXA France," says Slyngstad. "This is in line with our strategy to invest in large, well-developed property markets with solid partners."
The fund's market value rose 162 billion kroner in the quarter to 3,723 billion kroner. A strengthening of the krone against several major currencies decreased the market value by 85 billion kroner. The fund in the period received 80 billion kroner in new capital from the government. This was invested with 51 percent in equities and 49 percent in fixed income.
The fund held 60.3 percent in equities, 39.4 percent in fixed income and 0.3 percent in real estate at the end of the quarter.
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