Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, fueled by revenues from the country’s oil industry, earned another NOK 990 billion (more than USD 100 billion) during the first half of the year. Its investments in stock markets abroad accounted for the most profits, leaving the fund with a return of 9.4 percent.
The dizzying numbers left the total size of the fund, meant to finance pensions for future generations, at nearly NOK 12,000 billion. Returns were better than the average of those earned in the world’s financial markets, and the fund even made money on a mistake: News service E24 reported that the fund bought more shares in one company than planned but then the shares rose, yielding an unexpected extra gain of NOK 582 million.
Oil fund boss Nicolai Tangen noted that the fund gained on the pandemic because of government stimulus packages for companies and expansive monetary policies. Many individuals also saved money when there was little place to spend it, and invested it in stock markets. Tangen readily admitted that the pandemic has been unfair in many ways, making the rich richer and the poor who lost jobs poorer.
“These crises are often unfair,” Tangen told E24. “That applied to the finance crisis and it applies to this crisis.”