Norges Bank

Press release

First quarter return of 2.4 per cent on the Government Petroleum Fund

The return on the Government Petroleum Fund in the first quarter of 2000 was 2.4 per cent measured against the currency basket that corresponds to the composition of the Fund's benchmark portfolio. A return of 2.7 per cent was recorded on the equity portfolio, while the return on the fixed income portfolio was 2.1 per cent.

In the first quarter, the stock market was characterised by price volatility and substantial differences across sectors. Prices in Europe and the US rose appreciably in the latter part of the quarter, while levels in Japan remained unchanged. The return on fixed income instruments also reflected considerable differences between markets.

Measured in NOK, the periodic return was 5.4 per cent. The difference between the return figures reflects the depreciation of the Norwegian krone in relation to the currency basket during the quarter. However, it is the return measured in terms of this currency basket that best expresses the Fund's international purchasing power, so that it is most appropriate to use this figure for measuring the return.

The return on the Petroleum Fund in the first quarter was 0.36 per cent higher than the return on the benchmark portfolio defined by the Ministry of Finance. Most of the excess return is attributable to good results achieved by external active equity managers, and to some extent to contributions from internal active equity management.

On 31 March 2000, NOK 30 billion was transferred to the Petroleum Fund's international equity and fixed income portfolios, bringing the market value of the Fund's combined securities portfolio to NOK 264.2 billion.


Press telephone: +47 21 49 09 30

Published 29 May 2000 10:00