Famed Norway wealth fund announces record loss, but remains strong

OSLO, Norway: Ending a three-year run of profits as stock and bond prices were hit by rising inflation and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Norway’s wealth fund, one of the world’s largest investors, announced a record loss of $164.4 billion for 2022.

The fund’s previous record loss was $63 billion in 2008.

"We are invested in 9,000 companies in 70 countries. There is just no where to hide," said fund Chief Executive Nicolai Tangen.

The fund’s single largest stock market loss was its stake in Amazon, which declined in value by $5.6 billion, but partly due to the weak Norwegian currency and a record $110 billion of cash inflows, the fund’s total value rose overall by $8.9 billion year-on-year.

The fund’s 2022 inflows were almost three times the previous record, set at $38 billion.

The fund invests revenues from the sale of petroleum production in Norway, which is a major crude exporter and is now Europe’s largest gas supplier, after the drop in Russian gas. The country has benefited from high energy prices caused by the Ukraine war.

"We have to be very conscious of the fact that the inflow came against a tragic backdrop in Europe. But it is an isolated mathematical fact that when oil and gas prices are higher, there is more revenue to the Norwegian government and more inflow into the fund," Tangen said.

The fund invests in bonds, unlisted real estate and renewable energy projects, and owns on average 1.3 percent of all listed stocks.