Norway's $1.4 trillion sovereign wealth fund, one of the world's largest investors, welcomed on Tuesday the government's request that it consider investing in unlisted equities and will make a recommendation by December.
"Norges Bank looks positively on this review, and we will return with our advice and assessments towards the end of the year," Norges Bank Governor Ida Wolden Bache told a parliamentary hearing.
Norway's central bank manages the fund, which is the world's largest single stock market investor, owning 1.5% of all globally listed shares with stakes in some 9,200 companies.
The Finance Ministry said last month it had asked the fund to assess whether to begin investing in unlisted equities.
Bache said the fund's size enabled it to find new ways of investing at little additional cost.
"As a large, active and long-term participant in capital markets, the Bank is an attractive investor and partner. In unlisted markets, this may open up opportunities unavailable to others," she said.
As a wealth fund with a long-term perspective, that also helped it "make investments whose underlying value may take a long time to realise", Bache said.
"We can invest differently to many other investors, even in difficult and illiquid markets," she said.
While more than two-thirds of its investments are in stocks, the fund also invests in bonds, real estate and renewable energy projects.