Largest Sovereign Wealth Fund Takes $3 Billion-Plus Hit on Apple Shares

The tech giant’s Q1 sales warning sends Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global’s near $10 billion investment for a loop. 

Apple’s revelations last week of souring sales have sent shockwaves across the markets, wiping out billions overnight from investors’ holdings—among them Norway’s gargantuan sovereign wealth fund.

The $1 trillion-plus Government Pension Fund Global, the largest institution of its kind, lost more than $3 billion on its investments in the tech giant. Since 2009, the fund has been authorized to invest up to 60% of its portfolio in international equities, making it the largest shareowner in Europe. In 2016, the fund owned more than 1% of all global stocks and currently owns about 2.33% of all European shares, according to news website CCN.

At the end of 2018’s third quarter, the Government Pension Fund Global owned approximately $9.6 billion in Apple shares. Following Apple CEO Tim Cook’s admission that first quarter sales for 2019 would be about $5 billion less than expected due to President Donald Trump’s trade war with China and the slowing of the Chinese economy, the tech stock plummeted. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost more than 600 points alone on the news. The massive sovereign wealth fund’s Apple holdings currently sit at $6.29 billion.

“While we anticipated some challenges in key emerging markets, we did not foresee the magnitude of the economic deceleration, particularly in Greater China,” Cook wrote. “In fact, most of our revenue shortfall to our guidance, and over 100% of our year-over-year worldwide revenue decline, occurred in Greater China across iPhone, Mac, and iPad.”

In response, analysts such as Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, and UBS have cut their price targets for Apple shares, and others, such as Jeffries, have downgraded the company to a “hold.”

It is not known if the Government Pension Fund Global has sold any of its stake in Apple.

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