The world’s biggest wealth fund is committed to investing in Britain even if the country leaves the European Union after this month’s referendum.
“We’ll remain a long-term investor in the U.K. regardless of the outcome,” Yngve Slyngstad, chief executive officer of Norway’s $860 billion fund, said in a comment e-mailed by his press department. “It’s not our role to comment on political questions and we have nothing further to add.”
The prospects of a so-called Brexit are fueling volatility in markets after some recent polls showed the “Leave” camp could win the June 23 vote. U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said this week that a British exit from the EU would have “significant economic repercussions,” a concern echoed by her counterparts across the world.
U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron in a televised debate on Tuesday broadcast by ITV warned that a Brexit would mean “less investment, less jobs.”
The Norwegian fund had $87.3 billion invested in the U.K. at the end of 2015, comprising 457 stocks and 112 bonds, as well as large real estate holdings that include properties on Regent Street.
The fund has remained a bulwark against global stock declines this year. Unlike wealth funds in the Middle East and central Asia, Norway doesn’t foresee any need to sell assets, even after the government started withdrawing money to plug budget holes. Slyngstad’s comments were earlier reported by Swedish newspaper Dagens Industri.