Norway's $610 billion oil fund has cut its exposure to euro-denominated debt to below 39% of its overall bond holdings, the fund told Reuters on Thursday.
The fund was commenting after a report in German newspaper Frankfurt Allgemeine Zeitung which said that the fund was cutting its sovereign debt holdings, quoting Yngve Slyngstad, the chief executive of Norges Bank Investment Management, which administers Norway's Statens pensjonsfond.
"It should read euro-denominated debt, not euro zone sovereign debt," Norges Bank Investment Management said in an e-mailed statement on Thursday.
"The fund's investments in euro-denominated bonds, including government bonds and other types of bonds denominated in euros, were reduced to 39% of the fixed-income holdings at the end of the first quarter 2012, from 43% at the end of 2011," it said, adding it has reduced this share further since then.
The fund is Europe's biggest equity investor. The value of the fund stood at 3.496 trillion Norwegian crowns ($609 billion) on March 31, up from 3.312 trillion at the end of December.
In March the fund was told by the Norwegian finance ministry to rebalance its portfolio.
At the time the Norwegian finance ministry said the proportion of its European investments in equity, fixed income and real estate will be reduced to 41% from 54% "gradually, over time", while the Asia-Pacific share will rise to 19% from 11%.
The fund took part in the Greek government bond exchange as part of Athens' rescue even though it voted against the bond restructuring - the largest in history - because it opposed the special treatment given to the ECB and wanted bondholders to be treated equally.
"It is very problematic that institutional investors from the euro zone got preferential treatment when compared to private investors," Slyngstad told the paper.
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