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The fund was set up to give the government room for manoeuvring 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.


Foto: ConocoPhillips/Norsk Oljemuseum Foto: ConocoPhillips/Norsk Oljemuseum

Ekofisk, Norway’s first oil field, is discovered in the North Sea. Production starts in 1971.


The Ministry of Finance submits the parliamentary report “The role of petroleum activity in Norwegian society” discussing how the country’s oil wealth should be used.


The Tempo Committee, chaired by former Norges Bank governor Hermod Skånland, submits a report (NOU 1983:27) proposing the creation of a fund where the government can store the current temporary rush of oil revenue and spend only the real return.


Norway’s Parliament passes a law to establish the Government Petroleum Fund. The plan is to regularly transfer capital from the government’s petroleum revenue to the fund. The fund’s purpose is to support the government’s long-term management of petroleum revenue.


fund value

46 Bn. NOK

The fund gets its first capital transfer from the Ministry of Finance. This is invested in the same way as the Norwegian central bank’s foreign exchange reserves.


fund value

113 Bn. NOK

The fund is wholly invested in government bonds. The ministry decides to invest 40 percent of the fund in equities.


fund value

172 Bn. NOK

Norges Bank Investment Management is set up on 1 January to manage the fund on behalf of the Ministry of Finance. Norges Bank Investment Management converts about 40 percent of the fund’s bond portfolio into equities within the first half of 1998.


fund value

386 Bn. NOK

Five emerging markets are added to the fund’s benchmark equity index.


The fund grows faster than expected because of large capital transfers from the Ministry of Finance, as a result of increasing oil prices.


fund value

609 Bn. NOK

Corporate and securitised bonds are added to the fund’s benchmark fixed-income index.


fund value

1,016 Bn. NOK

Ethical guidelines are established for the fund.


fund value

1,784 Bn. NOK

The Government Petroleum Fund changes its name to the Government Pension Fund Global.


fund value

2,019 Bn. NOK

The Ministry of Finance decides to increase the fund’s share of equity investments to 60 percent from 40 percent. It also decides to add small-cap companies to the benchmark portfolio.


fund value

2,275 Bn. NOK

The Ministry of Finance includes real estate to the fund's investment universe, with a maximum share of 5 percent of total assets. All emerging markets are included in the reference equity index.


fund value

2,640 Bn. NOK

The fund’s ethical guidelines are evaluated. Its share of equity investments reaches 60 percent in June. The fund posts a record return of 25.6 percent.


fund value

3,077 Bn. NOK

A mandate is introduced to invest as much as 5 percent of the fund in real estate through a corresponding reduction in the fixed-income holdings.


fund value

3,312 Bn. NOK

The fund makes its first real estate investments.


fund value

3,816 Bn. NOK

The Ministry of Finance announces plans to gradually reduce the share of European holdings to about 40 percent of the fund and increase investments in emerging markets to 10 percent.


fund value

5,038 Bn. NOK

The fund makes its first real estate investments in the US. The return is the second best in the fund’s history so far, and the market value grows by more than 1,200 billion kroner.


fund value

6,431 Bn. NOK

Norges Bank Real Estate Management is established as a separate unit, with its own leader group.


fund value

7,475 Bn. NOK

Starting this year, the Council on Ethics sends its recommendations directly to Norges Bank, instead of to the Ministry of Finance. Norges Bank’s Executive board now decides on the observation and exclusion of companies. For the third consecutive year, the market value grows by more than 1,000 billion kroner.