Much of the return came from equity investments in the US, where the fund has 37.4 percent of its shares. In the US, the return was 15.5 percent, beating total annual growth of 6.8 percent.
"This is consistent with the picture we have seen elsewhere. Especially towards the latter part of last year, when shares grew on the 'Trump effect,'" Nordea Markets analyst Joachim Bernhardsen told Norwegian economic portal E24. "It already started during [Trump's] victory speech, when he was more humble than during the election campaign," he added, citing expectations of tax reform and massive infrastructure investments that gave US stocks a fair wind before the New Year.
Brexit, on the other hand, proved to be detrimental for Norway's oil fund, which lost about 7 billion NOK ($830mln) in property investments in the UK alone, the Norwegian newspaper Nettavisen reported.
Oil Fund CEO Yngve Slyngstad blamed the losses on the deprecation of the pound following the Brits' decision to bid the EU farewell. The Oil Fund's overall losses from Brexit were also calculated, but will not be revealed.
Norway's sovereign oil fund, formally known as the Government Pension Fund of Norway, was established in the 1990s to support the welfare state in the absence of oil. Over the past five years, it has more than doubled in size. A total of 62.5 percent of its portfolio was invested in shares last year, 34.3 percent is in bonds and 3.2 percent is in real estate. Today, the oil fund has investments in almost 9,000 companies. In the future, though, economists expect a slowdown in the fund's financial performance, which is already suffering from a decline in public oil revenues due to recession.
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