Friday, November 6, 2015

Norway Sovereign Wealth Fund Says Adding $86 Billion in Properties May Be Best

From Bloomberg:
The world’s biggest wealth fund says the optimal level of property investments may mean putting another $86 billion into real estate, singling out Asia as a hot-spot for growth.

Norway’s $860 billion fund, whose mandate is set by the government, was in 2010 allowed to invest 5 percent in the property market and is now studying whether it should add more to its portfolio. It has snapped up properties in New York, Paris, London and Berlin, among other cities, and is targeting Tokyo and Singapore.

“The vast majority of academic studies come to the conclusion that adding real estate does improve the risk-return profile of a mixed-asset portfolio,” the fund said in a discussion note based on research released on Friday. “Estimates of optimal allocations to real estate vary strongly. The median range of the suggested allocations to real estate in the 30 studies reviewed was 15 percent.”

Norges Bank Investment Management, which oversees the fund from within the central bank, held about 3 percent of its assets in real estate at the end of the third quarter. It aims to build that share to 5 percent by investing about 50 billion kroner ($5.8 billion) each year in property. The investor has a strategy to focus on 10 to 15 cities globally.

The fund said that nominal returns on real estate have averaged about 7 percent to 9 percent from 2000 to 2013 but have seen a “declining trend in recent years.”
Emerging market may be the best place to invest, it also said in a separate note assessing global trends and their effect on real estate.

“A considerable population growth, combined with positive wealth effects and urbanization, appears to favor emerging markets, particularly Asia,” the fund said.

The fund lost 273 billion kroner ($32 billion) in the third quarter, or 4.9 percent, amid drop in global stocks. Its stock holdings declined 8.6 percent, while it posted a 0.9 percent gain on bonds and a 3 percent return on real estate. It was the first back-to-back quarterly loss in six years....MORE
HT: ValueWalk