After being forced to withdraw at least $15 billion to fund 2017 budget deficits, the $860 billion Norwegian sovereign wealth fund has announced that it will change it's portfolio allocations to try to make up the difference. The change will result in 75% of the fund's capital being allocated to global equities, up from the current 60%. Sure, because funneling another $130 billion to the global equity bubble is just the prudent thing to do for an extra 40bps of "expected average annual real returns."
The central bank’s board, which oversees the fund, on Thursday recommended an increase in the equity share to 75 percent from 60 percent. That will raise the expected average annual real return to 2.5 percent over 10 years and to 3.5 percent over 30 years, compared with 2.1 percent and 2.6 percent, respectively, under the current setup.
The world’s largest sovereign wealth fund said that it expects an annual return of only 0.25 percent on bonds over the next decade and that the expected “equity risk premium,” or return on stocks over government bonds, will be just 3 percentage points in a cautious estimate.
“In our analyses, this is clearly evident in global data: internationally, growth in firms’ cash flows and equity returns are correlated with growth in the global economy,” Deputy Governor Egil Matsen said in a speech Thursday in Oslo. “Global economic growth in the coming years is expected to be below its historical level. This ‘pessimism’ is partly related to the driving forces behind the low level of the real interest rate.”
Of course, the decision comes after the fund has been forced to withdraw capital over the past two years to fund budget deficits that are expected to reach over 8% of GDP.
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