Norway’s largest fund reported a staggering $213 Billion in profit in 2023, reflecting tremendous gains in equites.
The fund’s performance was boosted even more by its investments specifically in technology stocks, a major industry for the small country. The 2023 numbers come after major losses in 2022.
The Government Pension Fund Global’s 2023 return is the highest in its history with more than 14% annual return. The fund invests in more than seventy countries and in 8,000 companies worldwide.
The numbers would have been even higher if it were not for the drag on the portfolio from unlisted real estate which had double digit losses. Both interest rates and soft demand on commercial real estate negatively impacted the real estate sector for large, institutional investors. Several Nordic funds invest heavily in commercial real estate, and felt the pinch as it is widely seen as a diversity play if a plan is long equities.
The CEO of the fund sighted tension between America and China as one of the biggest potential drags on the world economy and trade in 2024.
Higher freight costs and difficult trading routes due to Middle East tension might also be of concern. But he did not mention the election in the United States.
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