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OSLO, Aug 20 (Reuters) - Norway's $885 billion sovereign wealth fund increased its exposure to Russia in the first half of the year and also picked up government bonds of advanced economies, like the U.S., Japan, Italy, Germany and Britain, it said on Wednesday.
The fund, one of the world's biggest investors, also said it returned 3.3 percent in the second quarter, compared with 1.7 percent in the first quarter.
"Equity markets rose in the second quarter, and emerging markets performed best," Chief Executive Yngve Slyngstad said in a statement. "Considerable liquidly flowed into the markets, which pushed asset prices up. We noted reduced volatility in the markets, but we need to be prepared for fluctuation in the fund's value going forward."
"The biggest increases in holdings of government bonds were in Japanese, British and German government bonds, while the biggest decreases were in government bonds from Brazil, Canada and Sweden," the fund added.
The fund's bond holdings fell to 37.6 percent of its portfolio from 37.7 percent three months earlier, while equity holdings rose to 61.3 percent of the fund from 61.1 percent. (Reporting by Gwladys Fouche, editing by Balazs Koranyi)