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Positive return in third quarter despite turmoil in financial markets

Press release 20 November 2007

There was a positive overall return on the Government Pension Fund – Global of 1.15 per cent in the third quarter.  There was turmoil in financial markets in July and August. Equity prices fell, but this was more than offset by rising bond prices.

The return on the Government Pension Fund – Global in the first three quarters of 2007 was 4.94 per cent in international currency. There was a negative excess return relative to the benchmark portfolio defined by the Ministry of Finance of 0.17 percentage point in the third quarter, but a positive excess return of 0.19 percentage point in the first three quarters.

The return on the investment portfolio in Norges Bank’s foreign exchange reserves was 0.45 per cent in the third quarter, and 4.21 per cent in the first three quarters of 2007. There was a negative excess return of 0.60 percentage point in the third quarter and 0.39 percentage point in the first three quarters.

The market value of the Government Pension Fund – Global fell from NOK 1

939.5 billion to NOK 1 932.3 billion during the third quarter. New capital equivalent to NOK 75.9 billion was transferred to the fund, and there was a return on investment of NOK 21.3 billion, while a stronger krone in relation to the investment currencies decreased the value of the fund by NOK 104.4 billion. A change in the krone exchange rate has no effect, however, on the fund’s international purchasing power.

Government Pension Fund – Global passes NOK 2 trillion mark
The market value of the Government Pension Fund – Global passed NOK 2 trillion for the first time in October and stood at NOK 2 008 billion at the end of the month.

For further information, please contact:
Ms Siv Meisingseth, Director of Communications, tel. +47 22 31 63 50