February 28, 2017 / 9:01 AM / in 5 months

Norway's sovereign wealth fund returns 2.17 pct in Q4

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OSLO, Feb 28 (Reuters) - Norway's $900-billion sovereign wealth fund, the world's biggest, returned a profit in the fourth quarter due to strong equity markets, it said on Tuesday.

The fund earned a return of 2.17 percent in the quarter. In the third quarter the fund booked a return of 4.0 percent.

The government withdrew 101 billion crowns during 2016 to pay for public expenses at a time of declining oil and gas revenues, the first year it does so.

"The return in 2016 was characterised by falling international interest rates in the first half of the year, and strong equity markets in the second half," the fund's CEO, Yngve Slyngstad, said in a statement.

The fund cut its share of fixed income investments in the third quarter to 34.3 percent of its portfolio from 36.3 percent three months earlier while equity investments rose to 62.5 percent from 60.6 percent.

Real estate holdings were 3.2 percent against 3.1 percent in the previous quarter. (Reporting by Gwladys Fouche, editing by Terje Solsvik)

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