At the end of the year, the equity portfolio accounted for 58.1% of assets, with 47.9% in Norwegian equity and a further 10% in stocks listed in Finland, Sweden and Denmark.Its largest single holding was Statoil, closely followed by banking group DNB and Telenor.Combined, the three companies accounted for one-third of the fund’s equity holdings, spread across 144 companies.Due to the fund’s sizeable shareholding in Statoil, Folketrygdfondet has previously called for the oil firm to improve its disclosure around shale gas.Svarva credited the 9.8% return on fixed income to falling interest rates, and cautioned that the returns would not be easily repeated.“We are concerned about what low and negative interest rates could mean for how capital is invested, and for the economic development over time,” she added, accepting that the challenging times ahead could also offer “opportunities”.The GPFN, funded with the historic surplus of national insurance contributions, has achieved an average return of 7.8% over the last decade.Read more about the GPFN, the smaller sibling of the NOK6.7trn Government Pension Fund Global One of Norway’s sovereign wealth funds achieved above-benchmark returns of nearly 11% last year, boosted by strong equity growth despite declining oil prices.The NOK185.7bn (€20.5bn) Government Pension Fund Norway (GPFN) noted that the Oslo Stock Exchange was down 5.5% over the end of the fourth quarter – with energy sector stocks falling in value by 25% – but nevertheless finished the year up by 5% due to the consumer and materials sectors.Olaug Svarva, managing director at Folketrygdfondet, which runs the GPFN, said the fund’s 2.1 percentage point benchmark outperformance was its best since 2008 but cautioned that a return of 10.7% – resulting in asset growth of nearly NOK18bn – was unlikely to be repeated.She added that the 10.6% return on the fund’s equity portfolio – 3.3 percentage points above benchmark – was largely down to the listed firms benefiting from low interest rates and the weakening kroner.
Brendan Rodgers claims he has turned down five offers since being dismissed as Liverpool manager last October but may not join a “top club” when he returns.The Northern Irishman was apparently offered the chance to return to Swansea City in December after his former club sacked Garry Monk, but says that is not the only opportunity that has presented itself as he takes a break from football for the first time in five years.”I have had five opportunities since I left Liverpool to get back into work, all at clubs I really respect, but I just felt I wanted to take some time out,’ he said speaking on TV in Qatar.”I spoke to Huw Jenkins, the (Swansea) chairman, and people I know well but I made it clear, I was pretty open. Swansea is a wonderful club, and there were also a couple of other Premier League clubs I could have gone back to, but I was open and up front.”It is very intense when you are in the game,” he said.”I enjoy the scrutiny, and life of being at the leading edge of the game, but that opportunity that presented itself when I left Liverpool gave me the chance to go away for the first time in five years and sit and reflect on how I work and can improve and I hope my next club will benefit from that.” “I had the same situation when I left Reading in December (2009). I had a bit of time out, and my next club, Swansea, benefited from that and it went well, as it did at Liverpool for a period, So I hope this will be the same, I will reflect and then look to get back somewhere by pre-season.”I needed a bit of time out away from football, only for the fact that three-and-a-half years under such scrutiny was really intense. That time out has allowed me to recharge and give time to my family, which is very difficult when you are in football.”After the Christmas period, I really started to watch games again, including my son who is at Swindon. Spending time with family is very important to me. I am enjoying doing some TV work and speaking with players.”Rodgers says he could return to football management during the close season, and will not hold out for a club at the level of Liverpool if the opportunity presents itself. Rodgers spent three-and-a-half years at Anfield after being appointed in May 2012 to succeed Kenny Dalglish, and almost won the Premier League in 2014 with his side finishing only two points behind champions Manchester City.But they finished sixth last season with Rodgers dismissed earlier this season to make way for Jurgen Klopp with Liverpool 10th in the table after winning only one out of nine matches under him.”I will go between now and the end of the season to some clubs and take in some fresh ideas and if the right opportunity comes along in the summer I would really love the opportunity to get back in the game,” said Rodgers.”I am open. It is where I feel I can go in and make a difference: a job that will excite me. It doesn’t have to necessarily be at a top club.’It can be at home or abroad. It is just about finding the right opportunity, one that will excite me to go in and somewhere I can help make better.” –Follow Joy Sports on Twitter: @JoySportsGH. Our hashtag is #JoySports