NORWAY - The Government Pension Fund Global returned 9.6% in 2010, driven by widespread gains in global stock and bond markets.
The 264bn kroner return marks the fund's fifth best performing year ever, said Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), which manages the fund.
Equity holdings returned 13.3% over the year, measured in international currency, while fixed-income investments returned 4.1%. The overall return was 1.1 percentage points higher than the return on the fund's benchmark indices.
"In a year marked by the European sovereign debt crisis and fears of an economic slowdown in Europe, the fund posted its fifth-highest result ever," said NBIM chief executive officer Yngve Slyngstad.
"Globally, stocks and bonds gained last year, helped by improving company profits, low interest rates and stimulus measures from the European Central Bank, the Bank of Japan and the US Federal Reserve. The fund also benefitted from its long-term approach, as large equity purchases during the financial crisis in 2008 and in the first half of 2009 yielded solid returns. The value of our fixed-income investments also continued to recover after steep price drops two years earlier."
The fund's best-performing stock sector was basic materials, followed by the industrial and consumer goods sectors. The biggest-gaining stock investments, measured in krone returns, were food company Nestlé, Apple and oil producer Royal Dutch Shell. The weakest performers were Banco Santander of Spain, oil company BP and Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria of Spain.
The fund held shares in 8,496 companies and 8,659 bonds from 1,686 issuers at the end of 2010. Equity investments accounted for 61.5% of the fund's investments, while fixed-income investments made up 38.5%.
The fund's first real estate investment was announced in November 2010 as part of its strategy to exploit the fund's long-term investment outlook.
The market value of the fund rose 437bn kroner to 3,077bn kroner at the end of the year. Capital inflows from the government amounted to 182bn kroner in 2010.
The Pensions Regulator (TPR) and Labour MP Stephen Kinnock and will listen to the experiences of steelworkers when transferring their pensions away from the British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS) next week in Port Talbot.
Just Group has acquired a 75% stake in the holding company of Corinthian Pension Consulting in a bid to strengthen its professional defined benefit (DB) advisory services.
The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has exercised its production order power under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 for the very first time as part of a fraud investigation.
The ITN Limited Pension Scheme has named Trafalgar House as its administrator for an initial term of five years.