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European stocks pull down return

The Government Pension Fund Global returned 0.1 percent, or 15 billion kroner, in the third quarter of 2014.

29 October 2014

Equity investments returned -0.5 percent, and fixed-income investments 0.9 percent. The return on these investments was 0.5 percentage point lower than the return on the benchmark indices. Investments in real estate returned 1.5 percent.

“Two quarters of strong returns were followed by a virtually flat quarter,” says Yngve Slyngstad, CEO of Norges Bank Investment Management, the fund’s manager. “Increased geopolitical uncertainty in the vicinity of the euro area contributed to a negative return on European stocks. The US, on the other hand, emerged as the global growth engine, and US stocks produced a positive return. The negative overall return on equities was cancelled out by a positive return on the fund’s fixed-income investments.”

The fund acquired a number of new properties in Europe and the US during the quarter, in line with its stated strategy of gradually bringing real estate up to as much as 5 percent of the value of the fund.

“Our strategy is to invest in a limited number of cities around the world and concentrate on office and retail premises,” says Slyngstad. “The purchases in the third quarter were in keeping with this strategy.”

The krone weakened against many of the main currencies during the quarter, which increased the fund's value by 5 billion kroner, and new capital of 36 billion kroner was transferred to the fund from the government.

The fund had a market value of 5,534 billion kroner on 30 September, of which 61.4 percent was invested in equities, 37.3 percent in fixed income and 1.3 percent in real estate.

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