Norges Bank

Press release

Norges Banks accounts for 2001

Norges Bank has transferred NOK 8.9 billion to the Treasury from the Bank’s Transfer Fund. This transfer 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 4.8 billion in 2001, against NOK 3.6 billion in 2000.

Norges Bank’s annual accounts for 2001 show a deficit of NOK 4.7 billion, compared with a profit of NOK 13.7 billion in 2000.

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 non-interest-bearing debt. 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, a special feature of Norges Bank’s accounts is that the result is largely determined by the monetary policy conducted in the accounting year.

The decline in prices in the international securities markets in 2001 has resulted in a loss of NOK 3.7 billion, compared with a capital gain of NOK 2.1 billion the year before. Due to the appreciation of the Norwegian krone, foreign exchange reserves translated into NOK showed an exchange loss of NOK 4.9 billion in 2001, compared with an exchange gain of NOK 6.0 billion in 2000.

At the end of 2001, Norges Bank’s international reserves amounted to NOK 168.6 billion at market value and taking into account repurchase agreements and deposits, which is NOK 17.4 billion less than the end-2000 figure. International reserves comprise foreign exchange reserves, gold and claims on the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

From end-2000 to end-2001, foreign exchange reserves declined by NOK 19.1 billion to NOK 155.4 billion. The reduction was due to the fact that transfers to the Government Petroleum Fund were higher than purchases for this purpose in 2001. In addition, the maturity of currency swap agreements concluded in 2000 as part of domestic liquidity management also played a part.

International reserves, investments for the Government Petroleum Fund and other foreign assets had a total market value of NOK 794.3 billion at the end of 2001, compared with NOK 586.3 billion in 2000.



Press telephone: +47 21 49 09 30

Published 14 February 2002 15:30