Norway’s giant wealth fund earns $111 billion in first half of 2021

Norway's giant wealth fund earns $111 billion in first half of 2021
Norway's oil fund has made sizeable returns in the first half of this year. Photo by Jan-Rune Smenes Reite from Pexels
Norway's sovereign wealth fund, the world's biggest, said Wednesday it earned more than $100 billion in the first half of the year thanks to a soaring stock market -- and a small assist from an erroneous purchase that luckily turned into a gain.

The oil-rich country launched the fund in the 1990s to protect the economy from the volatility of crude prices and finance the future needs of Norway’s generous welfare state.

Its value reached 11.7 trillion Norwegian kroner ($1.3 trillion, 1.1 trillion euros) at the end of June, with three-quarters of its investment in
global equities.

The fund posted a 9.4 percent return, or 990 billion kroner ($111 billion, 94.7 billion euros), in the first six months of the year.

The head of the fund, Nicolai Tangen, said the energy, finance, health and technology sectors drove the gains.

READ MORE: Norway taps oil wealth to cushion Covid impact 

A small fraction — 582 million kroner — was made after a trader mistakenly bought more shares than planned of an unidentified company.

“The consequence this time was that it was beneficial to us,” the fund’s number two, Trond Grande, told Norway’s NTB news agency. “But we could very well have suffered a loss on that.”

The wealth fund is an essential source of funding for the government, with around every fifth kroner of government spending coming from the oil fund. If you want to learn more about how the oil fund has transformed Norway, check out our article here.

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