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Norwegian pension fund continues to play active role in Lankan stock market

29 August 2017 12:15 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


By Chandeepa Wettasinghe

The central bank of Norway, Norges Bank, which manages the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, has been active in the Colombo Stock Exchange over the quarter ended June 30, 2017.

Norges’ investments in TeeJay PLC fell marginally to 2.97 percent of TeeJay’s shares, while the bank’s shareholding in Tokyo Cement Company (Lanka) PLC fell 0.66 percent quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) to reach one percent of shares.

These were two of Norges’ initial investments when the fund entered Sri Lanka in the third quarter of 2015.

Norges’ appetite for more finance stocks in its portfolio seemed apparent, as it marginally increased its ownership of shares in the country’s second largest private bank, Hatton National Bank PLC (HNB) QoQ to hold 1.13 percent of HNB shares, as well as purchasing 0.85 percent of Sampath Bank PLC shares to reach a total of 2.32 percent QoQ.

\Of the diversified firms, which Norges had interests in, it fell off the top 20 shareholders’ list of the country’s largest conglomerate, John Keells Holdings PLC, in which Norges held one percent of shares at the end of March.

Norges also sold a minute number of shares in Melstacorp PLC QoQ, with shares held in the conglomerate falling down to 1.01 percent.

Meanwhile, the institutional investor’s shareholding in Hemas Holdings PLC increased to 2.36 percent from 1.57 percent QoQ.

Norges’ holdings in Access Engineering PLC, Piramal Glass (Ceylon) PLC, Dialog Axiata PLC and People’s Leasing and Finance PLC remained unchanged QoQ.

Norges has invested approximately US $ 65 million in Sri Lankan equities through the sovereign fund Government Pension Fund Global by end-2016. The sovereign fund is worth approximately US $ 1 trillion.

The fund’s total returns were 2.6 percent in the second quarter of 2017, with returns from equity investments reaching up to 3.4 percent. 



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