Stock market turmoil pushes Norway’s oil fund to loss

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Volatility in stock markets last year pushed Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, the world’s largest of its kind, to report a loss of 485 billion kroner (USD56.4 billion) for 2018.

Fund Manager Norges Bank Investment Management said the fund’s worst-performing investments in 2018 were in the German pharmaceuticals maker Bayer AG, Facebook Inc.

The fund’s return was a negative 6.1 per cent.

Chairman and Norwegian Central Bank Governor Oeystein Olsen said the results were “weak” and blamed fragile stock markets in the first and fourth quarters of 2018.

Norway first deposited oil and gas profits into the fund in 1996. The fund invests oil and gas proceeds mainly into stocks but also bonds and property worldwide to secure wealth for the Nordic nation’s 5.3 million people.