Norges Bank

Press release

Petroleum Fund with 2.5 per cent return in 2000

The return on the Government Petroleum Fund in 2000 was 2.5 per cent measured in international currency. A weak trend in international equity markets in the second half of the year pushed results down. The return on the equity portfolio was -5.8 per cent. Bond markets showed a strongly positive trend, and the return on the fixed income portfolio was 8.4 per cent.

In recent years there have been considerable fluctuations in international capital markets. In 1999 there was a very strong performance in equity markets but a slight negative yield on fixed income instruments. Since 1998, the Petroleum Fund has had an average annual real return, measured in international currency, of 6.5 per cent, breaking down into 11.4 per cent on equities and 4.1 per cent on fixed income instruments.

The overall return measured in NOK was 6.5 per cent in 2000. The krone depreciated slightly against the currencies in which the Petroleum Fund is invested, which boosted the return measured in NOK. However, since the purpose of management is to increase the international purchasing power of the Petroleum Fund, changes in the krone exchange rate are of little relevance.

In 2000 Norges Bank achieved a return that was 0.20 percentage point higher than that of the benchmark portfolio defined by the Ministry of Finance. An excess return was achieved on both the portfolios placed under external managers and internally managed portfolios.

At the end of 2000, the value of the Petroleum Fund's assets abroad was NOK 386.4 billion. Transfers amounting to NOK 150 billion were made by the Ministry of Finance during the year. A total of NOK 314 billion has been transferred since the establishment of the Petroleum Fund. Of the return of NOK 14.2 billion in 2000, NOK 6.6 billion represents an increase in value measured in international currency, while NOK 7.6 billion can be ascribed to the depreciation of the krone, and therefore does not represent an increase in the Fund's international purchasing power.


Press telephone: +47 21 49 09 30

Published 9 March 2001 11:00