Norway’s sovereign wealth fund saw double-digit property returns for the second year running.
At the end of 2014, the Government Pension Fund Global said overall assets stood at NOK6.4trn (€706bn), up by NOK1.4trn over the course of the year.
However, changes in the value of the kroner accounted for around half of the increase, and investment returns for only NOK544bn, according to the fund’s annual report.
Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM) said real estate returns, which stood at 10.4% last year, rose to 27.5% when measured in kroner – the fund’s single-best performance measured in either kroner or international currency in five years.
The fund continued to grow its property portfolio, increasing nearly threefold in size to NOK141bn and now accounting for 2.2% of assets, up from 1%.
Yngve Slyngstad, chief executive of NBIM, said: “Never before have we made as many property investments as we did last year, and we will continue to step up these investments in the coming years.”
A large part of the fund’s asset growth came from acquisitions in the US, which now accounts for 35% of the property portfolio, up from 18.7%.
The investor last year bought in Boston and San Francisco.
The UK accounted for 28.4% of its real estate portfolio, up year on year by 1.4 percentage points.
The fund also transferred ownership of 11 listed real estate holdings from the equity team to the property team over the course of 2014, with the NOK33bn in holdings returning 6%.