Norges Bank

Press release

Return of 3.8 per cent on the Petroleum Fund in the second quarter

The return on the Government Petroleum Fund in the second quarter of 2005 was 3.8 per cent measured in terms of the currency basket that corresponds to the composition of the Fund's benchmark portfolio. Equity prices rose in Europe and the US, whereas equity prices in Japan were stable for the quarter as a whole. The return on the equity portfolio was 4.9 per cent. Market prices rose in the main markets for fixed income instruments, and the return on the fixed income portfolio was 3.1 per cent.

The return on the Petroleum Fund in the first half of the year was 4.9 per cent. Measured in NOK, the return was 6.3 per cent. The higher return in NOK is due to the krone's depreciation against the currencies in the benchmark portfolio.

In the second quarter of 2005, the return on the Petroleum Fund was 0.18 percentage point higher than the return on the benchmark portfolio defined by the Ministry of Finance. The excess return for the first half of the year was 0.33 percentage point.

The market value of the Petroleum Fund's combined securities portfolio was NOK 1 183.9 billion at the end of the second quarter. This represents an increase of NOK 94 billion during the quarter and an increase of NOK 167 billion since the beginning of the year. The increase since the beginning of the year is due partly to the transfer of new capital (NOK 101 billion), partly to the return in capital markets (NOK 53 billion) and partly to the depreciation of the krone (NOK 13 billion). The change in the krone exchange rate has no effect, however, on the Fund's international purchasing power.

For further information, please contact:

Knut Kjær, Executive Director, Norges Bank Investment Management, Tel. +47 22 31 60 00.

The quarterly report is published on www.nbim.no.

Contact:

Press telephone: +47 21 49 09 30
Email: presse@norges-bank.no

Published 23 August 2005 10:00
Published 23 August 2005 10:00