Norwegian Petroleum Fund, Oslo, the 609 billion kroner ($85 billion) scheme that invests oil revenue for the Norwegian government, will continue its shift into corporate bonds in 2003, according to the funds annual report, released today. The funds assets fell 4.7% last year, 25 basis points above the set benchmark. The Norwegian government transferred a record 126 billion kroner into the fund in 2002, and the fund sold 130 billion kroner in government bonds to buy corporate bonds, the report said.
Continued high oil prices during 2003, spurred by reduced OPEC output and jitters over the potential war in the Persian Gulf, means contributions are likely to remain high.
Knut N. Kjaer, executive director of Norges Bank Investment Management, which runs the funds assets, did not release further details.