Norway's chief executive said the country has decreased investments in Russia from its oil fund worth $860 billion, citing tensions in Ukraine, Reuters reported. At the end of 2013, Russia held $3.67 billion in stocks and government bonds from Norway's Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG), which is the biggest sovereign wealth fund in the world. After the conflict in Ukraine, GPFG's investments in Russia have been reduced slightly in the first quarter, according to Yngve Slyngstad, head of GPFG and CEO of Norges Bank Investment Management.
"In most other situations where there is market stress, we try to be a countercyclical investor," Slyngstad told Reuters. "Countercyclical does not really work well when the risk factors are of a geopolitical nature."
The GPFG had a return of 1.7 percent in the first quarter - the lowest since the second quarter of 2013, The Wall Street Journal reported. Slyngstad said returns have not been good for the Russian market at a news conference in Oslo. The oil fund's Russian bond holdings returned a 9.7 percent loss during the first quarter, Reuters reported.