The world's biggest sovereign wealth fund last year bulked up on a welter of WA companies, including Atlas Iron and Gryphon Minerals, as it cut back in Europe in favour of more attractive investment destinations.
With more than 4 trillion kroner ($679 billion) of assets, Norway's Government Pension Fund Global is represented in every corner of the world, including Australia where it doubled its holdings of equities and bonds last year.
The fund's latest update shows it held 261 Australian-listed stocks worth 53.3 billion kroner at the end of December.
The WA-held stocks included Ausdrill, Navitas, Seven West Media, Fleetwood, NRW and Aspen, with most of the holdings below the one per cent mark.
However, Atlas and Gryphon were among the exceptions, with the Norwegian fund increasing its stake in the iron ore miner fivefold over the year to 3.44 per cent and nearly doubling its stake in gold hopeful Gryphon to 3.39 per cent.
Its biggest Australian holding by value was BHP Billiton at 5 billion kroner, or 0.44 per cent of the mining giant. The biggest holding was Swiss-based Nestle at 30.1 billion kroner, followed by Royal Dutch Shell and HSBC Holdings.
The fund was set up in 1990 to invest the significant proceeds from Norway's oil industry. Last year, it had its second-best year on record, riding recovering global equity markets to return 13.4 per cent, including 18.1 per cent from its equity investments, which account for about 60 per cent of assets.
In recent years, it has been reducing its exposure to Europe in favour of other developed markets and emerging economies in Asia and the Americas. In 2012, Europe's share of the fund's asset base fell to 48 per cent from 53 per cent.
According to the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute, Government Pension Fund Global is nearly $US100 billion ($97 billion) bigger than the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority ($US627 billion). Saudi Arabia's SAMA Holdings is put at $US532.8 billion.