Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, the worlds’ largest, made a record loss of 1.68 trillion Norwegian crowns (£144bn) in the first half of the year as its investments were rocked by fears of a global recession and rampant inflation.
The $1.3tn fund notched a negative return of 14.4 per cent for the January-June period, led by a 28 per cent plunge in the value of its technology holdings.
The decline marked the largest of any six-month period in the fund’s 26-year history, although it has since recouped some of the losses as markets edged back into positive territory in the past two months.
Chief Executive Nicolai Tangen of Norges Bank Investment Management, which operates the fund, said today that the market has been “characterised by rising interest rates, high inflation, and war in Europe.”
“Equity investments are down with as much as 17 percent. Technology stocks have done particularly poorly with a return of -28 percent,” he said.
The fund’s fixed income investments and unlisted renewable energy infrastructure were down 9.3 per cent and 13.3 per cent, respectively.
The biggest loss in its stock portfolio came from Facebook owner Meta, where its holding plunged by 38 billion crowns (£3.24bn), followed by Amazon with 35 billion (£2.99bn) and Apple with 30 billion (£2.56bn).
Tangen has repeatedly warned of weak markets ahead and that the fund, which is allowed to deviate only slightly from its benchmark indices, would thus also decline.
The fund was still 1.14 percentage points ahead of the return on its benchmark index in the first six months of the year.
“This is well within what one can expect,” Tangen said of the first-half loss.