The State Pension Fund statistics were released on Friday, on March 8.
“The fund’s performance reflects development in global financial markets during 2012,” says Yngve Slyngstad, CEO of Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), the fund’s manager.
The return on the fund’s equity investments was 18.1 percent. The world’s major stock markets rose markedly in the course of the year. Returns were especially high in the second half of 2012 and can in part be related to actions taken by the European Central Bank that were announced in July.
Fixed-income investments returned 6.7 percent. Returns were positive in all major sectors and were highest for corporate bonds.
The return on real estate investments was 5.8 percent.
The investment strategy was further developed in 2012. The geographical allocation of the fund’s equity investments is now based on total market value. Investments in government bonds are allocated by country according to the size of its overall output. At the same time, nine emerging market currencies were approved for fixed-income investments.
“The change in strategy is the most substantial since the increase in the fund’s equity allocation to 60 percent. While in 2011, the fund invested NOK 150 billion of the year’s capital transfers in European equities, in 2012, the fund invested nearly an equivalent amount in emerging bond markets”, says Slyngstad.
At the end of 2012, the value of the fund was NOK 3816 billion, up from NOK 3312 a year earlier. Capital transfers during the year totaled NOK 276 billion, while the return was NOK 447 billion. A stronger krone exchange rate pulled down the value of the fund by NOK 220 billion.