Return of -5.1 per cent on the Petroleum Fund in the third quarter
The return on the Government Petroleum Fund in the third quarter of 2002 was -5.1 per cent measured in terms of the currency basket that corresponds to the composition of the Fund's benchmark portfolio. The negative return is due to an unusually sharp fall in most of the equity markets in which the Petroleum Fund is invested. Not since the first oil crisis in 1973-74 has there been a quarter in which global equity markets have fallen so steeply.
A price fall of 19.7 per cent was recorded for the equity portfolio. The third quarter also saw a definite decline in interest rates internationally, and hence a marked rise in prices for the Petroleum Fund's fixed income investments. The return on the fixed income portfolio was 4.7 per cent.
Measured in NOK, the third quarter return on the Petroleum Fund was -6.3 per cent. The lower return in NOK is due to an appreciation of the krone against the currencies in the benchmark portfolio in the third quarter. This has no effect on the international purchasing power of the Fund, however. It is therefore most relevant to use return figures measured in foreign currency.
The overall return on the Petroleum Fund in the first three quarters of 2002 was -7.4 per cent, measured by the Fund's currency basket.
The return on the Petroleum Fund's ordinary portfolio in the third quarter of 2002 was 0.14 percentage point lower than the return on the benchmark portfolio defined by the Ministry of Finance. There was an excess return for the first three quarters of 0.08 percentage point.
The third quarter return on the Environmental Fund was -19.1 per cent measured in terms of the benchmark currency basket.
In the third quarter, capital equivalent to NOK 37.6 billion was transferred to the Petroleum Fund's equity and fixed income portfolios, bringing the market value of the combined securities portfolio to NOK 603.6 billion at the end of the third quarter.
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