TWO decades after Norway’s government paid a first deposit into its sovereign-wealth fund, the country is learning how to manage a behemoth. The vehicle, which is used to invest abroad the proceeds of Norway’s oil and gas sales, has amassed a bigger fortune than anyone expected, thanks to previous, bumper oil prices. As the direct benefits of oil decline—around 46% of Norway’s expected total haul of oil and gas is gone—the relative importance of the fund will grow. Annual revenues from it now regularly exceed income from oil sales.

This week the “Pension Fund Global” was worth Nkr7.3billion ($882 billion), moer than double national GDP. No sovereign-wealth fund is bigger (see chart). It owns over 2% of all listed shares in Europe and over 1% globally. Its largest holdings are in Alphabet, Apple, Microsoft and Nestlé, among 9,000-odd firms in 78...Continue reading