Norway's $1.6 trillion sovereign wealth fund, the world's largest, reported a record profit of 2.22 trillion Norwegian crowns ($213 billion) in 2023, driven by strong returns on its investments in technology stocks.

The result compared with a record loss in 2022 of 1.64 trillion crowns, Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM) said on Tuesday.

"Despite high inflation and geopolitical turmoil, the equity market in 2023 was very strong, compared to a weak year in 2022. Technology stocks in particular performed very well," NBIM Chief Executive Nicolai Tangen said in a statement.

The fund's most valuable company stake was in Microsoft where it held shares worth 358.4 billion crowns, closely followed by Apple with 337.3 billion.

The fund's return on investment in 2023 stood at 16.1% for the year, 0.18 percentage point lower than the return on the fund's benchmark index.

The fund invests the Norwegian state's revenues from oil and gas production in equities, bonds, property and renewable projects abroad.

It is the world's largest sovereign wealth fund, holding stakes in more than 8,800 companies globally and owning 1.5% of all listed stocks.

At the end of the year, 70.9% of the fund's assets were allocated to equities, up from 69.8% in 2022, bonds declined to 27.1% from 27.5%, unlisted real estate fell to 1.9% from 2.7% and renewable infrastructure held steady at 0.1% of investments.

The inflows from the Norwegian state into the fund in 2023 were 711 billion crowns, short of a record set in 2022 of nearly 1.1 trillion crowns.

Norway is a major crude oil exporter and Europe's largest gas supplier after a drop in Russian gas flows in 2022 and has benefited from higher energy prices due to the war in Ukraine. ($1 = 10.4109 Norwegian crowns)

(Reporting by Gwladys Fouche in Oslo, editing by Terje Solsvik and Jane Merriman)