Fall in equity prices causes negative return on the Government Petroleum Fund in the first quarter
The return on the Government Petroleum Fund in the first quarter of 2001 was -2.8 per cent in terms of the currency basket that corresponds to the composition of the Fund’s benchmark portfolio. The return on the equity portfolio was -10.2 per cent. The result reflects a sharp decline in equity prices in Europe and the US, while developments in the Japanese equity market were more positive towards the end of the quarter. The return on the fixed income portfolio was 2.1 per cent.
The Fund’s return in the first quarter was -4.2 per cent measured in NOK. The lower return in NOK is due to a stronger krone in relation to the currencies in the benchmark portfolio. However, the return in terms of the currency basket provides the best indication of developments in the Fund's international purchasing power. Therefore, these return figures are most relevant.
The return on the Petroleum Fund’s ordinary portfolio in the first quarter of 2001 was 0.16 percentage point lower than the return on the benchmark portfolio defined by the Ministry of Finance.
The Environmental Fund was established on 31 January, with an initial market value of NOK 1 billion. The return on this equity portfolio in February and March 2001 was -13.2 per cent in terms of the benchmark’s currency basket and -13.7 per cent measured in NOK.
On 31 January 2000, NOK 10 billion was transferred to the Petroleum Fund’s international equity and fixed income portfolios and a further NOK 45.5 billion was transferred on 30 March 2001. The market value of the combined securities portfolio was NOK 424.9 billion at the end of the first quarter.
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