Norges Bank

Press release

Return on the Government Petroleum Fund in the third quarter of 1999

In the third quarter of 1999, the Government Petroleum Fund had a negative return equivalent to -0.8 per cent measured in international currency.

Both the equity and bond portfolios recorded negative returns. The return on the equity portfolio was -1.8 per cent, and the return on the bond portfolio was -0.1 per cent. There has been a marked rise in both equity and government bond prices in Japan, but this was not sufficient to offset the weak performance in Europe and the US.

The return in the third quarter was 0.17 percentage point higher than the return on the benchmark portfolio defined by the Ministry of Finance. The outperformance is largely attributable to the good results achieved by external equity managers.

Measured in NOK, the third quarter return on the Petroleum Fund was a positive 1.8 per cent. The higher return measured in NOK reflects the depreciation of the Norwegian krone in relation to the currency basket defined by the composition of the Petroleum Fund's benchmark portfolio. However, it is the return measured in terms of this currency basket that is most relevant to developments in the Fund's international purchasing power.

The return for the first three quarters of the year as a whole was 4.2 per cent measured in terms of the Petroleum Fund's currency basket. The return on the equity portfolio was 12.0 per cent, while there was a negative return equivalent to -1.1 per cent on the bond portfolio. Norges Bank has achieved an excess return of 0.33 percentage point compared with the return on the benchmark portfolio.

On 30 September 1999, NOK 13.5 billion was transferred to the Petroleum Fund's international equity and bond portfolios, bringing the market value of the Fund's total securities portfolio to NOK 199.5 billion.


Press telephone: +47 21 49 09 30

Published 25 November 1999 00:00