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Bumper profits for Norway’s giant wealth fund led by a strong performance by tech companies



Norway’s oil fund reported the largest annual return in its history Tuesday, a performance led by U.S. technology companies and Danish pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk, which makes the diabetes-turned-weight loss drug Ozempic.

Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global, the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, said it also benefited in 2023 from market excitement over the rapid adoption of artificial intelligence technology such as ChatGPT.

Oil Fund manager Nicolai Tangen reported that despite “high inflation and geopolitical turmoil,” the fund’s value ballooned 16% in the year to 15,765 billion kroner (around $ 1,500 billion). That corresponds to $273,000 for every inhabitant of Norway, which has a population of 5.5 million.

The six largest contributors to the fund’s growth were the U.S technology companies Microsoft, Apple, NVIDIA, Meta, Amazon and Alphabet. Electric car maker Tesla came in seventh.

Denmark-based Nova Nordisk was the next highest contributor. Ozempic was originally developed as a diabetes treatment, but its growth accelerated in 2023 as more people sought it out as an obesity treatment. Nova Nordisk also makes a higher dose version of the same medication that is sold as a weight loss drug under the brand name Wegovy.

The Government Pension Fund Global, known commonly as the Oil Fund, invests Norway’s profits from oil and gas, and owns around 1.5% of all the companies listed globally. The majority of the fund is made up of shares, but it also includes government bonds, real estate and renewable energy infrastructure.

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