Norges Bank

Press release

Norges Bank Investment Management: Global financial turmoil and weak equity market

The first quarter of 2008 was dominated by the financial turmoil that began with problems in the US mortgage market in early 2007 and subsequently developed into a wider crisis in parts of the financial system. Equity markets fell sharply during the quarter, while fixed income markets generated a positive return.

Transfers of NOK 88 billion were made to the Government Pension Fund - Global. The market value of the fund was NOK 1 946 billion at the end of the quarter.

The return on the Government Pension Fund - Global in the first quarter of 2008 was -5.6 per cent in international currency.

The return on the fund was 0.81 percentage point below that on the benchmark portfolio defined by the Ministry of Finance.

The return on Norges Bank’s foreign exchange reserves, which are invested with a long time horizon and in both equities and bonds, was -4.9 per cent in the first quarter of 2008. The return on the Government Petroleum Insurance Fund, which is invested exclusively in fixed income securities, was 2.4 per cent.


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Published 23 May 2008 10:00