OSLO, April 25 (Reuters) - The value of Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, the world’s largest, rose to a record 8 trillion Norwegian crowns ($935 billion) on Tuesday, data from its manager showed, increasing the money available for public spending.
The fund, run by a unit of the central bank, invests proceeds from Norway’s oil and gas industry in foreign stocks, bonds and real estate, and is now worth more than 2.5 times the country’s annual gross domestic product.
A five-percent weakening of the crown since February has helped boost the value of the fund, whose holdings are denominated in foreign currencies, more than the government projected, increasing the money that can be used for public spending under parliament’s budget framework.
Last October, the right-wing minority coalition predicted that the fund would be worth 7.67 trillion at the end of 2017.
Under a recently revised fiscal rule, governments can spend 3 percent of the fund’s value per year, corresponding to 240 billion crowns of the current size, while the 2017 budget earmarks only 226 billion, or 2.8 percent of the 8 trillion value. ($1 = 8.5568 Norwegian crowns)
Reporting by Terje Solsvik; Editing by Camilla Knudsen and Robin Pomeroy