Return of -1.7 per cent on the Petroleum Fund in the first quarter
The return on the Government Petroleum Fund in the first quarter of 2003 was -1.7 per cent measured in terms of the currency basket that corresponds to the composition of the Fund's benchmark portfolio. Measured in NOK the return was 4.7 per cent. The high return in NOK is due to a depreciation of the krone against the currencies in the benchmark portfolio in the first quarter.
This has no effect, however, on developments in the international purchasing power of the Fund.
Share prices in the main markets rose in the first few weeks of 2003, but showed a tendency to fall, particularly in Europe, from the end of January and for the rest of the quarter. The equity portfolio recorded a price fall of 7.8 per cent. The return on the fixed income portfolio for the quarter was positive at 2.2 per cent measured in terms of the currency basket.
The return on the Petroleum Fund's ordinary portfolio in the first quarter was 0.21 percentage point higher than the return on the benchmark portfolio defined by the Ministry of Finance. Both the equity and fixed income portfolios outperformed the benchmark.
The first quarter return on the Environmental Fund was -8.2 per cent measured in terms of the benchmark's currency basket.
During the quarter, capital equivalent to NOK 43.3 billion was transferred to the Petroleum Fund's international equity and fixed income portfolios. The market value of the Fund's total securities portfolio was NOK 682.0 billion at the end of the first quarter, which is an increase of NOK 73.0 billion since year-end. The increase is due partly to the transfer of new capital and partly to the depreciation of the krone (which has no effect on developments in the international purchasing power of the Fund).
Norwegian and English versions of the report are available on www.nbim.no.
Press telephone: +47 21 49 09 30