NORWAY - The NOK1.947trn (€245bn) Norwegian Government Pension Fund - Global has confirmed it is close to owning more than 1% of the entire European stock market.

The fund announced last year it would shift its target allocation in equities from 40% to 60% and has since increased its weighting of equities in the portfolio, taking advantage of the recent market turmoil to buy more stocks.

A spokeswoman for Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), which takes care of the fund's asset management, today confirmed the fund is just weeks away from crossing 1% ownership on average in Europe, while being months away from crossing half a percent in its ownership in the rest of the world.

Yngve Slyngstad, the fund's new director, was recently quoted as saying "ourstarting point is ‘buy the whole market".

Officials at the fund - the second-largest sovereign wealth pension fund in the world - announced earlier this year the Global fund would set up a new division to seek larger stakes in companies.

Despite announcing in April its value fell to NOK1.947trn in March - down from NOK1.970trn in February and NOK2.017trn in December -     the fund is keen to continue with its plans to "expand its portfolio" and increase its equity allocation as it has a "higher risk-bearing capacity" than other pension funds.

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