An appraisal of the regional weighting of the Petroleum Fund

11 April 2002

Norges Bank submitted the following letter to the Ministry of Finance on 11 April 2002

Introduction

For the first two years (1996-1997) the Petroleum Fund was only invested in government bonds. The regional distribution was 75 per cent in Europe (distributed among five countries), 18 per cent in the Americas (only the US) and 7 per cent in Asia (only Japan). During the first half of 1998, there were three major changes in the Fund’s investment strategy. First, equities were included, with a share of 40 per cent. Second, the regional allocation was substantially changed. The share in Europe was decreased from 75 to 50 per cent, while the share in the Americas was raised from 18 to 30 per cent and in Asia from 7 to 20 per cent. Third, the number of countries in which the Fund invested was expanded from 7 to 21. The reasons for the changes were that the Fund had a long investment horizon, and that it was growing faster than previously assumed.

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