Norges Bank

Press release

Norges Banks's accounts for 1998

Norges Bank's profit for 1998 amounted to NOK 23 510 million in 1998, compared with NOK 14 061 million in 1997. The change in the profit for the year primarily reflects foreign currency gains amounting to NOK 15 352 million in 1998, compared with NOK 6 391 million in 1997.

Changes in securities prices for foreign investments generated increased earnings of NOK 2 081 million in 1998. Interest income from foreign investments came to NOK 10 834 million, representing a decrease of NOK 2 326 million compared with 1997.

Interest payments to the Treasury amounted to NOK 4 277 million in 1998, against NOK 4 793 million in 1997.

In 1998, NOK 2 978 million was transferred from the Adjustment Fund owing to a reduction in net foreign exchange reserves. An amount of NOK 26 572 million was transferred to the Transfer Fund. In accordance with existing guidelines, NOK 3 401 million was transferred from the Transfer Fund to the Treasury. Norges Bank's transfers to the Treasury are based on an average of the Bank's allocations to the Transfer Fund in the three preceding years.

At the end of 1998, Norges Bank's international reserves amounted to NOK 145 billion, measured in terms of market value, which at year-end was NOK 3 billion higher than the book value. International reserves comprise foreign exchange reserves, gold and claims on the International Monetary Fund.

Net foreign exchange reserves declined by NOK 30.4 billion between end-1997 and end-1998, and came to NOK 130.7 billion. The reduction primarily reflects government foreign debt payments and transfers to the Government Petroleum Fund.

Norges Bank is responsible for the operational management of the Government Petroleum Fund on behalf of the Ministry of Finance. At the end of the year the market value of the Government Petroleum Fund was NOK 171.8 billion, which was NOK 4.1 billion higher than the book value. The net return on the Government Petroleum Fund came to NOK 21.5 billion in 1998.

The book value of international reserves, investments for the Government Petroleum Fund and other foreign assets came to NOK 321.9 billion at the end of 1998, compared with NOK 296.5 billion in 1997.


Press telephone: +47 21 49 09 30

Published 18 February 1999 00:00