Due to a human error, the Oil Fund bought more shares in a company than planned. But the price went up, and the error generated a return of NOK 582 million.
“The effect this time was that we benefited from it. It could just as well ended up in a loss,” deputy head of the fund Trond Grande told NTB.
The error was mentioned in connection with the presentation of H1 2021 results in Arendal on Wednesday, which also showed that the Oil Fund had a return of NOK 990 billion in the first half of the year.
“Very many of our transactions are automated, and no people are involved. Some are not possible to automate, and then we have people who make choices. In this case, it was a manual error that caused us to buy more shares than we had planned,” Grande explained.
He said that such mistakes happen from time to time but that they try to learn from them.
“More common that you might think”
“It’s a little more common than you might think. We try not to make more mistakes than we can tolerate. But the machinery is as it is, the transactions are as they are. And then something can go wrong.”
Oil Fund chief Nicolai Tangen pointed out that, after all, they completed 36 million transactions in the last six months – and that the vast majority of them were error-free.
To monitor and eliminate errors, the Oil Fund adds up the sum of all errors when they report – regardless of whether they yielded a return or a loss. Total errors amounted to NOK 700 million for half of the year.
“Other actors say, for example, if they have a positive error of 50 million and a negative of 50 million, that it amounts to zero. We say that the error amounts to 100 million in error,” Tangen told NTB.
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