The Government Pension Fund Global was set up in 1990 to underpin long-term considerations when phasing petroleum revenues into the Norwegian economy.
Norges Bank Investment Management manages the fund on behalf of the Ministry of Finance, which owns the fund on behalf of the Norwegian people. The ministry determines the fund’s investment strategy, following advice from among others Norges Bank Investment Management and discussions in Parliament. The management mandate defines the investment universe and the fund's strategic reference index.
The Ministry of Finance has on a regular basis transferred capital to the fund from the Norwegian state's petroleum revenues. The fund's capital is invested abroad, to avoid overheating the Norwegian economy and to shield it from the effects of oil price fluctuations. The fund invests in international equity and fixed-income markets and real estate. The aim is to have a diversified investment mix that will give the highest possible risk-adjusted return within the guidelines set by the ministry.
The fund's purpose and history
The fund was set up to give the government room for manoeuvre in fiscal policy should oil prices drop or the mainland economy contract. It also served as a tool to manage the financial challenges of an ageing population and an expected drop in petroleum revenue. The fund was designed to be invested for the long term, but in a way that made it possible to draw on when required. Despite its name, the fund has no formal pension liabilities. No political decision has been made as to when the fund may be used to cover future pension costs, and the probability of large withdrawals from the fund is limited. This makes the fund truly long-term.