Norges Bank

Press release

Norges Bank´s accounts for 1999

Norges Bank has transferred NOK 10.7 billion to the Treasury from the Transfer Fund. This transfer to the Treasury is based on an average of the Bank's allocations to the Transfer Fund in the three preceding years.

Interest payments to the Treasury amounted to NOK 1.8 billion in 1999, against NOK 4.3 billion in 1998.

Norges Bank's accounts for 1999 show a deficit of NOK 3.1 billion, compared with a profit of NOK 23.5 billion in 1998.

The accounts must be assessed against the background of Norges Bank's responsibilities. One of the Bank's main responsibilities is the issue of banknotes and coins. This means that the Bank will at all times have debt which is not interest-bearing. The offsetting entry is the Bank's interest-bearing claims on other participants. The banknote monopoly thus results in central bank accounts which, prior to adjustments for fluctuations in the exchange rate and securities prices, will normally show a profit (seigniorage). Moreover, Norges Bank's accounts have the special feature that the result is largely determined by the monetary policy which has been conducted in the course of the accounting year rather than the goal of achieving a profit of a certain magnitude.

During 1999, the appreciation of the Norwegian krone against the euro and rising bond yields in the markets in which Norges Bank has invested has resulted in capital losses on foreign currency and securities in the amount of NOK 9.0 billion, compared with gains of NOK 24.2 billion in 1998. NOK 3.3 billion of the loss in 1999 is due to the valuation of securities at market value.

At the end of 1999, Norges Bank's international reserves amounted to NOK 167.2 billion, measured in terms of market value, which was NOK 20.4 billion higher than at end-1998. International reserves comprise foreign exchange reserves, gold and claims on the International Monetary Fund.

Foreign exchange reserves increased by NOK 22.7 billion between end-1998 and end-1999, and came to NOK 153.4 billion at the end of the year. This increase is partly due to purchases of foreign currency at the end of the year in order to supply liquidity to the private and municipal sector at the turn of the millennium and purchases of foreign currency in preparation for larger transfers to the Government Petroleum Fund in 2000.

The market value of international reserves, investments for the Government Petroleum Fund and other foreign assets came to NOK 427.5 billion at the end of 1999, compared with NOK 330.8 billion in 1998.


Press telephone: +47 21 49 09 30

Published 17 February 2000 16:30