Government Pension Fund Global: Negative return in a volatile first half of the year
In the first half of 2020, the Government Pension Fund Global returned -3.4 percent, equivalent to -188 billion kroner.
The return on the fund’s equity investment was -6.8 percent. Investments in unlisted real estate returned -1.6 percent, whereas the fixed income investments returned 5.1 percent. The fund’s overall return was 11 basis points lower than the return on the benchmark index.
“There were major fluctuations in the equity market in this period. The year started with optimism, but the outlook of the equity market quickly turned when the Corona virus started to spread globally. However, the sharp stock market decline of the first quarter was limited by a massive monetary and financial policy response”, says Deputy CEO of Norges Bank Investment Management Trond Grande.
Economic measures around the world combined with a gradual reopening in several countries contributed to an increase in optimism among investors.
“Even though markets recovered well in the second quarter, we are still witnessing considerable uncertainty”, Grande says.
The krone depreciated against several of the main currencies during the first half of the year. The currency movements contributed to an increase in the fund’s value of 672 billion kroner. In the first half of the year, 167 billion kroner was withdrawn from the fund.
The fund had a value of 10,400 billion kroner as at 30 June 2020, of which 69.6 percent was invested in equities, 2.8 percent in unlisted real estate, and 27.6 percent in fixed income.
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