Norges Bank

Press release

Petroleum Fund's return is 8.9 per cent in 2004

The return on the Government Petroleum Fund in 2004 was 8.9 per cent measured in international currency. Total return for the last two years has been 22.6 per cent primarily reflecting high returns in equity markets.

For the period 1997 to 2004, the average annual real return on the Petroleum Fund was 4.0 per cent after deducting management costs.

In 2004, Norges Bank achieved a return that was 0.53 percentage point higher than the return on the benchmark portfolio which has been defined by the Ministry of Finance. This is the seventh consecutive year since equities were introduced into the portfolio in 1998 that Norges Bank has outperformed the benchmark. The average annual excess return has been 0.45 per cent. The total excess return has been just over NOK 14 billion.

At the end of 2004, the value of the Petroleum Fund's investments was NOK 1 016 billion. The value increased by NOK 171 billion during the year, NOK 138 billion of which reflected transfers of new capital from the Ministry of Finance. The return measured in international currency corresponded to NOK 82 billion. An appreciation of the krone during the year reduced the value of the Petroleum Fund, measured in NOK, by NOK 49 billion. The krone exchange rate has no effect, however, on the future international purchasing power of the Petroleum Fund.

Norwegian and English versions of the annual report are available on


Press telephone: +47 21 49 09 30

Published 1 March 2005 10:00