OSLO - Investors have yet to learn which institutions incurred the lion's share of losses from last year's global financial market turmoil, the head of Norway's $1.4 trillion sovereign wealth fund said.
The value of most stock markets and bonds fell sharply last year, hit by Russia's invasion of Ukraine and soaring inflation, and the fallout could turn up in unexpected places, said Nicolai Tangen, CEO of Norges Bank Investment Management.
The fund, which invests the Norwegian state's revenue from oil and gas production, owns 1.5% of all globally listed shares with stakes in 9,200 companies, making it the world's single largest stock market investor.
It also invests in bonds, real estate and renewable energy projects.
Financial markets lost some $30 trillion in value in 2022, or the rough equivalent of 25 times the value of the fund he heads, Tangen said.
"Those losses have to turn up somewhere. Somebody is on the other side of that loss. And how much have we seen of that loss? Hardly anything," he told reporters.
"These losses will turn up. I don't know where they are. Are they in a Japanese insurance company, a German bank, a Norwegian communal company? They are usually in places where you never expect them to be."
Asked whether he thought this could be the beginning of a new financial crisis, he said: "I don't think it is necessarily. But losses will pop up".
The fund has often warned it could sustain a severe loss in value if financial markets were to decline significantly.
"We have stress-tested the portfolio against various scenarios. In a bad case scenario, the fund is going to be down 40% ... (due to)...an unspecified geopolitical event," he said.
The Norwegian fund posted a record full-year loss of $164 billion for 2022.
(Reporting by Gwladys Fouche, editing by Terje Solsvik, Kirsten Donovan)