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World’s Largest Wealth Fund Loses $170Bln in Single 'Unusual' Year

© AFP 2023 / NORWAY OUTThe upper part of the "Brent Spar" oil platform is lifted by the crane vessel "Thialf" off the coast of Vats, near to Stavanger
The upper part of the Brent Spar oil platform is lifted by the crane vessel Thialf off the coast of Vats, near to Stavanger  - Sputnik International, 1920, 02.02.2023
The gargantuan loss incurred by Norway’s Oil Fund in 2022 turned out to be nearly three times larger than the amount lost in 2008 amid the global financial crisis and seen as the epitome of an economic beating.
Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, colloquially referred to as the Oil Fund and the largest of its kind in the world, has reported a record loss of NOK 1.64 trillion ($170 billion) in 2022, citing “very unusual” market conditions.
The $1.3 trillion fund, which was established in the 1990s to manage the surplus revenues of the Nordic country’s oil and gas sector, which ranks among the world’s largest investors, returned a substantial loss of 14.1 percent last year.
The monumental loss even eclipsed that recorded in 2008 amid the global financial crisis (NOK 633 billion or $64 billion).
According to Nicolai Tangen, the CEO of Norway’s Bank Investment Management, which oversees the Oil Fund, the market was impacted by the ongoing Ukraine conflict, high inflation (which broke decades-old records in many European nations), and rising interest rates. This negatively impacted both the equity market and bond market at the same time, which is very unusual, he said.
"All the sectors in the equity market had negative returns, with the exception of energy," Tangen said in a statement.
As of now, the fund, which has been firmly based in Norway’s vast oil and gas reserves in the North Sea, has invested in more than 9,300 companies in 70 countries around the world.
Statfjord-A offshore oil platform - Sputnik International, 1920, 11.01.2023
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Norway, one of the world's leaders in the export of energy resources, assumed the role of the EU's leading supplier following the bloc's massive sanctions campaign against Russia over its special op in Ukraine. However, the skyrocketing fossil fuel revenues in a tiny country of 5.5 million have stirred a fiery debate about international justice and even sparked accusations of profiteering from fellow European nations bending under a twin energy and cost-of-living crisis.
Opposition politicians, economists and even representatives of the country’s energy industry itself have called on the government to alleviate the ethical concerns by directing the windfall petroleum profits into a new international solidarity fund to share with the world.
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