News and Updates

Kallevig to lead Norwegian sovereign wealth fund’s £15bn property acquisition programme
According to Property Week, "Kallevig will join NBIM on 1 September to initiate the Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global’s £15bn property spending programme. He has headed Grove International Partners’ Japanese office since 2006. Before relocating to Japan, Kallevig was involved in Grove’s advisory business in Europe, focusing on investments in the UK. He led the investment program and realization at First Serviced Offices, worked closely with Mapeley and was involved in the operations and acquisitions of SB Capital Europe. He was also instrumental in establishing Giffels Management Russia, Grove’s Russian logistics development platform.

Before joining the Grove team, led by founder Richard Georgi, Richard Mully and Dang Phan, at inception in 1999, Kallevig worked for Goldman Sachs’s Whitehall Street Real Estate Funds in Europe. NBIM’s recruitment of Kallevig comes after it received a mandate on 1 March to invest in real estate. Following this decision, the NOK2.8 trillion (£304bn) fund will consist of 60% equities, 35–40% fixed-income securities and as much as 5% real estate."
read more: Property Week

The best year in the GPFG’s history
According to Reuters, "Gains in international equity and fixed income markets led to a record annual return for the Government Pension Fund Global in 2009. The fund returned 25.6 percent, equivalent to 613 billion kroner. This was 4.1 percentage points higher than the return on the benchmark portfolio."
read more: NBIM

Norway Sovereign Wealth Fund swells in Q2, owns 1% of global stocks
According to Reuters, "Norway's sovereign wealth fund had a return of 12.7 percent on its investment in the second quarter and owns 1 percent of all global stocks, taking advantage of a sharp financial market rally, the central bank said on Friday. The fund grew by 14.9 percent in the second quarter from the end of March to 2.385 trillion Norwegian crowns ($396.6 billion), in line with earlier reported preliminary figures. The fund, which in 2008 had its worst performance in its 10-year investment history, outperformed its benchmark by 2.1 percentage points, said Norges Bank, which manages the fund."
read more: Reuters

Norway wealth fund Q1 return negative 4.8%
According to Reuters, "Norway's sovereign wealth fund had a negative return of 4.8 percent in the first quarter, underperforming its benchmark, as investments ailed in the global financial slump, the central bank said on Wednesday."
read more: Reuters

Norway oil fund says zero return so far in 2009
According to Reuters, "Norway's sovereign wealth fund, Europe's biggest equity investor, has had roughly a zero percent return on its investments in global stocks and bonds so far in 2009, its executive director said on Wednesday.

'Markets were very weak in January, so the portfolio dropped further, but markets picked up and total returns are at around zero percent so far this year,' Executive Director Yngve Slyngstad told a hearing at the Norwegian parliament."
read more: Reuters

Norway Oil Fund Lehman Losses Exacerbate Kingdom’s Worst Return
According to Bloomberg, "Now Slyngstad and his 120-strong investment team are paying the price for misreading the worldwide credit crisis as they spent the country’s cash hoard. In 2008, they compounded their losses in plunging global stock markets by putting out $1 billion to refinance six U.S. and European banks, including the now defunct Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. Those bets cost about $500 million. Slyngstad also held on to U.S. mortgage-backed securities, including about $16 billion of bonds issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the home lenders U.S. taxpayers bailed out last September. Adding to the upheaval, Slyngstad increased purchases of riskier assets as part of a government-backed strategy to boost returns.

From March 2007 to April ‘08, large state-owned investment vehicles spent $44.9 billion on strategic stakes in U.S. and European banks, according to the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute in Roseville, California. Their moves blew up as taxpayers rescued banks from UBS AG to Citigroup Inc., while Merrill Lynch & Co. was sold at a fire-sale price of $19.4 billion to Bank of America Corp."
read more: Bloomberg

Norway oil fund expels two companies
The report states the fund "has excluded U.S. weapons producer Textron and Canadian mining group Barrick Gold for ethical reasons. The finance ministry said on Friday Textron was ejected from the fund, one of the world's biggest investors, because it produced cluster munitions.

'We cannot participate in the funding of this type of production,' Finance Minister Kristin Halvorsen said in a statement.

She said Barrick Gold's exclusion was "based on the assessment that investing in the company entails an unacceptable risk of the fund contributing to serious environmental damage."
read more: Reuters

Norway dips into oil fund for NKr20bn stimulus
FT reports that, "Norway on Monday unveiled a NKr20bn ($3bn, €2.25bn) fiscal stimulus package as it starts to use its massive oil wealth to boost growth and employment in its struggling economy. The Nordic country of just 4.7m people has amassed $370bn in oil revenues – the world’s second largest sovereign wealth fund, after Abu Dhabi’s – and is now starting to use it to soften the effects of an expected recession. The new spending package comes on top of a previously announced expansionary budget that was equivalent to 0.7 per cent of gross domestic product and takes total government spending on the crisis to 2.3 per cent of GDP – one of the most aggressive spending plans in Europe."
read more: FT

Norway oil fund's Israel holdings under scrutiny
"Norway's finance minister has ordered a review of investments by the country's $300 billion wealth fund in companies active in the Palestinian territories after Israel's crackdown in the Gaza Strip, officials said.

The Government Pension Fund -- Global, known familiarly as the "oil fund," invests Norway's oil wealth in foreign stocks and bonds to save for the future when the black gold runs out.

It invests under ethical guidelines from the ministry of finance and so far has excluded a few dozen companies that produce nuclear arms or cluster munitions, degrade the environment or violate human rights or worker rights."
read more: Reuters

Norway's oil fund faces losses in 2008
Forbes reports that, "Norway's $310 billion sovereign wealth fund, Europe's biggest holder of stocks, will probably suffer losses in 2008 due to weak equity markets, Finance Minister Kristin Halvorsen said.

'This will be a hard year for the fund... this will be a year of losses, especially in the equity markets,' she said in an interview posted on the BBC's website on Monday.

'Because we are very long term investors, we are not panicking, even if this is going to be a year of losses.'"
read more: Forbes

Norway owned a bit of Lehman Brothers
According to Reuters, "it had been prepared for the bankruptcy filing by U.S. bank Lehman Brothers, in which it held more than $840 million worth of stocks and bonds at the end of 2007."
read more: Thomson Reuters

Oil fund takes 'minor' hit from US mortgage crisis
According to Aftenposten, "Oil fund chief Yngve Slyngstad said Tuesday that the fund's total Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac exposure amounts to about NOK 88 billion (USD 16.36 billion).

'Eighty-eight billion (crowns) is relatively little in relation to other central banks, but it is that big because we consider this the second most secure investment in the United States,' Slyngstad said.

The oil fund's holdings in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bonds have fallen from a value of NOK 129 billion at the end of 200, Slyngstad said while releasing the fund's second-quarter results."
read more: Aftenposten

Norway Fund to increase Equity Asset Allocation
According to Thomson Reuters, “Yngve Slyngstad said on Thursday that the world's second largest sovereign wealth fund was a ‘huge buyer’ of stocks over the first quarter in a planned shift towards more equities. ‘We are just weeks away from crossing 1 percent ownership on average in Europe (in equities), and our ownership in the rest of the world is months, not weeks, away from crossing half a percent,’ Slyngstad said in an interview.”
read more: Thomson Reuters

Norway's finance ministry on Friday proposed to change the rules governing the country's nearly $400 billion sovereign wealth fund to allow it to hold stakes of up to 10 percent in individual companies.
According to Reuters, the ministry in Norway "intends to raise the Pension Fund -- Global's limit on ownership stakes in individual companies from 5 percent to 10 percent. Finance Minister Kristin Halvorsen stressed to a news conference that the fund was 'clearly a financial investor and not a strategic investor.'"
read more: Reuters


Fund Site
NBIM Quarterly Performance Report First quarter 2008
Ministry of Finance - Norway’s position in the debate on Sovereign Wealth Funds

Major Direct Foreign Investments (Public)

Company Country Industry % Ownership Comments

1. All figures quoted are from official sources, or, where the institutions concerned do not issue statistics of their holdings, from other publicly available sources.

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