OSLO Feb 28 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)