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Norwegian public funds post 2018 investment gains

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Oslo’s NOK86.1bn (€9bn) local government pension fund made a 2% return on investments in 2018, with property and private equity helping offset weak equities by generating gains of more than 10% each.

Oslo Pensjonsforsikring’s (OPF) return compared to the 9% it produced in 2017.

According to the pension provider’s annual report, property and infrastructure gained 10.7% and private equity returned 15.4% in 2018, while listed equities lost 8.3%.

In its annual report, OPF said: “In 2018, the company has chosen not to increase the total investment risk in the customer portfolio, although risk-bearing capacity is considered good.

“The choice has been made, among other things, because the cyclical and market upturn after the financial crisis has been long-lasting, and the company considers that prices and values are more uncertain than before.”

At the end of the year, the pension fund’s portfolio was worth NOK86.1bn, up from NOK82.5bn at the end of 2017.

Elsewhere, Bergen Kommunale Pensjonskasse (BPK) reported an overall value-adjusted return of 0.9% for the year.

Total investments at group level rose to NOK1.5bn at the end of 2018, from NOK1.34bn a year before, the pension fund’s annual report showed.

BPK praised the outperformance fixed income allocation, which made up nearly 63% of total assets at the end of last year.

“The short-term bond portfolio yielded a return of 2.3%, while the benchmark index, which is the ST4X, gave 0.5%,” it stated. “The accumulated return over the past 10 years is 55% against the index’s 29%.”

Meanwhile, Akershus Fylkeskommunale Pensjonskasse (AFPK) reported a value-adjusted return of 0.3% for 2018, down from 7.5% in 2017.

In its full-year results announcement, the fund said: “2018 was marked by a weak development on the financial markets. All the most important equities markets produced negative returns. In spite of this, the pension fund achieved a positive financial return of 0.3%.”

AFPK’s assets under management increased slightly to NOK3.72bn at the end of 2018, from NOK3.65bn a year earlier.

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  • OPF's office in Norway

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