As anticipated in our post yesterday, NBIM announced its 2020 annual results today with a return of 10.9% in NOK terms. This compares to the 1.7% announced by Future Fund yesterday and was due to the strong growth of a 97.5% liquid portfolio (as opposed to 58.9% of the Australian SWF).
Despite a USD 35 billion outflow, which includes a significant withdrawal from the government during Q2 and management costs throughout the year, the Norwegian investor grew its balance sheet an 11.8% in USD (8.2% in NOK), up to USD 1,279 billion. The new number is already reflected in our Top 100 Ranking.
As highlighted in our annual report, the key bets of the year were Technology, which returned a 42% for NBIM (USD 10 billion in Apple shares only!) and China, which is an increasing theme for the fund. Real Estate performed very poorly, with a -5% drop across both listed and unlisted equities.
It is unclear if the new leadership will mean a more aggressive strategy, and further allocation to private assets, which remains one of the lowest among SWFs, with 2.5%. The fund has been trying to increase its exposure to unlisted properties to 7% for years and is allowed to invest in unlisted renewable energy since the end of 2019, but has failed to do so yet. For now, a liquid portfolio clearly paid off in 2020.