Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, popularly known as the Oil Fund, has on 20 September 2017 reached a staggering value of 1 trillion U.S. dollars ($1,000,000,000,000) for the 1st time.
The world’s largest sovereign wealth fund got its 1st capital in 1996 when the oil revenue from the government was transferred to the fund for the 1st time.
Managed by the country’s central bank, the fund invests in thousands of companies and industries around the world, all outside Norway.
Explaining the trillion-dollar mark, Norges Bank Investment Management which manages Norway’s oil wealth said a strengthening of the world’s major currencies against the US dollar, combined with strong equity markets, have rapidly increased the US dollar value of the fund in 2017.
«I don’t think anyone expected the fund to ever reach 1 trillion dollars when the 1st transfer of oil revenue was made in May 1996. Reaching 1 trillion dollars is a milestone, and the growth in the fund’s market value has been stunning», says Yngve Slyngstad, CEO in Norges Bank Investment Management.
According to information on the fund’s website, the fund generated an annual return of 5.9 % from the establishment of Norges Bank Investment Management in 1998 to the end of the 2nd quarter of 2017, measured in the fund’s currency basket.
After management costs and inflation, the return was 4.0 %.