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Norway wealth fund should continue to take on risk

[OSLO] Norway's US$990 billion wealth fund, the world's largest, should continue to take on risk in its global investments despite turbulence on global markets, the deputy governor of the Norwegian central bank in charge of the fund said on Thursday.

The fund invests the revenues of Norway's oil and gas production in stocks, bonds and real estate abroad. With stakes in some 9,000 companies, it owns 1.4 per cent of globally listed shares.

The fund, and Norway, must be prepared for falls on global markets that will reduce the overall value of the fund, Norges Bank deputy chief Egil Matsen said in a speech.

"In a crisis, there will be no place to hide for a large global fund," he said.

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Still, the fund should continue with its agreed strategy, including increasing the share of equities in its investments to 70 per cent from its previous mandate of 60 per cent. It stood at 67.6 per cent at the end of the third quarter.

"Although we must seek to limit the risks we encounter, we must at the same time reiterate that some risk is worth undertaking," said Mr Matsen.

"Broad support for important principles in the management of the (fund) is a strength that will stand the fund in good stead the next time turbulence erupts in financial markets."