Skip to content

Norges Bank Investment Management: Both equity and fixed income markets generated negative returns

22 August 2006

International equity markets declined in the second quarter, particularly in Japan and emerging markets. The return on the international equity portfolios managed by Norges Bank was negative 3.3 per cent. Higher international interest rates resulted in a decline in bond prices.

The return on the Government Pension Fund - Global in second quarter of 2006 was negative 1.6 per cent measured in terms of the currency basket that corresponds to the composition of the Fund's benchmark portfolio. The actual return was 0.10 percentage point lower than the return on the benchmark portfolio defined by the Ministry of Finance.

The return on the Government Pension Fund - Global in the first half of the year was 0.7 per cent. Measured in NOK, the return was negative 3.1 per cent. The lower return in NOK is due to the krone's appreciation against the currencies in the benchmark portfolio. The excess return in the first half of the year was 0.09 percentage point.

The Fund's market value was NOK 1 505 billion at the end of the quarter, an increase of NOK 21 billion during the quarter. The increase was due to the transfer of new capital (NOK 69 billion), whereas the negative return on investments and the appreciation of the krone reduced the market value by NOK 22 billion and NOK 26 billion respectively. The change in the krone exchange rate has no effect, however, on the Fund's international purchasing power.

The return on Norges Bank's foreign exchange reserves' investment portfolio was negative 1.5 per cent in the second quarter and 0.1 per cent so far this year. The return on the Government Petroleum Insurance Fund was negative 0.1 per cent in the second quarter and negative 0.8 per cent in the first half of the year. This fund is only invested in fixed-income securities.

Total market value of the portfolios managed by Norges Bank Investment Management was NOK 1 729 billion at 30 June. The foreign exchange reserves' investment portfolio accounted for NOK 209 billion and the Petroleum Insurance Fund accounted for NOK 15 billion.