Norges Bank

Press release

The Government Petroleum Fund records a 0.6 per cent return in the first quarter

The return on the Government Petroleum Fund in the first quarter of 2002 was 0.6 per cent measured by the currency basket that corresponds to the composition of the Fund’s benchmark portfolio. Share prices in the three main markets, the US, Europe and Japan, fell at the beginning of the quarter, but rose again towards the end of the quarter. The return on the equity portfolio was 2.3 per cent. The return on the fixed income portfolio was -0.6 per cent, following the rise in bond yields in the US and Europe.

The first quarter return on the Petroleum Fund was -2.1 per cent, measured in NOK. The lower return in NOK is due to the appreciation of the krone against the currencies in the benchmark portfolio. However, it is the return measured in terms of the currency basket that best expresses changes in the Fund's international purchasing power. Therefore, it is most appropriate to use this figure for measuring the return.

The return on the Petroleum Fund’s ordinary portfolio in the first quarter of 2002 was 0.24 percentage point higher than the return on the benchmark portfolio defined by the Ministry of Finance.

The first quarter return on the Environmental Fund was 1.3 per cent measured in terms of the benchmark’s currency basket.

On 31 January, NOK 12.1 billion was transferred to the Petroleum Fund’s international equity and fixed income portfolios, and a further NOK 12.2 billion was transferred on 28 February 2002, bringing the market value of the combined securities portfolio to NOK 625.0 billion at the end of the first quarter.

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Published 30 May 2002 10:00