- Loss in 2022 exceeds previous record from 2008
- Inflation, geopolitical tensions remain risk factors
- Record inflow of money from oil and gas industry
Norway's wealth fund, one of the world's largest investors, posted a record loss of 1.64 trillion crowns ($164.4 billion) for 2022, bringing to an end a three-year run of soaring profits as stocks and bonds were hit by the Ukraine war and inflation.
The previous largest loss was 633 billion crowns in 2008.
It ends a record-breaking streak for the fund, where annual returns exceeded one trillion crowns in each of the three years from 2019 to 2021, amounting to more than four trillion crowns combined.
"We are invested in 9,000 companies in 70 countries. There is just nowhere to hide," fund Chief Executive Nicolai Tangen told a news conference.
The single biggest stock market loss came from the fund's stake in Amazon, which declined in value by 56 billion crowns, followed by a loss in shares of Facebook owner Meta Platforms of 52 billion and in Tesla with 47 billion.
Still, despite the record loss, the value of the fund rose overall by 89 billion crowns or $8.9 billion year-on-year, partly due to the weak Norwegian currency and a record 1.1 trillion crowns of cash inflows.
The inflows in 2022 were nearly three times the previous record, of 386 billion crowns, set in 2008.
The fund invests the Norwegian state's revenues from petroleum production. As a major crude exporter and Europe's largest gas supplier after a drop in Russian gas flows, Norway benefited from high energy prices due to the war in Ukraine.We have to be very conscious of the fact that the inflow came against a tragic backdrop in Europe," Tangen said