By Victoria Klesty
OSLO (Reuters) -Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, the world’s largest, earned a return on investment of 1.58 trillion Norwegian crowns ($177 billion) last year, the second highest on record, with the biggest boost coming from tech stocks, it said on Thursday.
The $1.3 trillion fund’s return on investment stood at 14.5% for the year, which was 0.74 percentage point higher than the return on the fund’s benchmark index.
“The good results are mainly due to very strong developments in the equity market throughout the year,” Chief Executive Nicolai Tangen said in a statement.
“There was good return in all sectors, but the investments in technology and financials performed particularly well,” he said.
Tech stocks made a return of 30.2%, making it the best-performing sector.
Founded in 1996, the fund invests revenue from Norway’s oil and gas sector and holds stakes in some 9,100 companies globally, owning 1.4% of all listed stocks. It also invests in bonds, unlisted real estate and renewable energy infrastructure.
Last year’s return was the second highest in the fund’s history, exceeded only by the 1.69 trillion crowns earned in 2019.
The biggest individual contributors to the fund’s returns were Microsoft Corp, Alphabet Inc and Apple Inc, presentation material showed.
On a country basis, investments in the United States contributed the most, with 960 billion crowns in returns, followed by Britain with 112 billion crowns.
The fund holds the equivalent of $244,000 for every Norwegian man, woman and child.
($1 = 8.9498 Norwegian crowns)
(Reporting by Victoria Klesty, editing by Terje Solsvik and Tomasz Janowski)