The sovereign wealth fund achieved just a 2.7% return on its investments in 2015 – its worst performance since 2011.
The total fund is now worth around $876 billion. The Norwegian government made its first withdrawal from the fund in January to support state spending – the rainy day fund has been fed by state oil revenues over decades and was tapped for support in a slowing economy.
“2015 was a year of currency turmoil, negative interest rates, falling oil prices and weaker growth expectations for emerging markets,” said Yngve Slyngstad, the fund’s chief executive.
Plummeting oil prices have created a large deficit in the Norwegian government’s finances and it has signalled that it may have to make a much larger withdrawal later in 2016 if global prices continue to stay low.