NORWAY - The value of the Norwegian Government Pension Fund - Global declined NOK28bn (€3.2bn) in October following three months of growth.

Latest monthly figures from Norges Bank, which oversees the fund through Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), revealed the government pension fund was valued at NOK2.090trn at the end of October compared to NOK2.118trn in September.

The drop of around NOK28bn follows three successive months of increases to the value of the fund, despite the market volatility, jumping NOK29bn in July, from NOK1.992trn the previous month, with further increased in August and September. (See earlier IPE article: Norway fund grows to €253bn in July)

Despite the decline in October, the figures from Norges Bank balance sheet show the value of the pension fund is still around NOK74bn higher than at the end of 2007, when its assets totalled NOK2.017trn.

However the fund's second quarter results, published in August, revealed increases in value were primarily the result of government inflows as the investments of the fund returned -1.9% in the three-month period, leading to a loss of NOK39bn. (See earlier IPE article: Norway Global loses €4.9bn in Q2)

Earlier this year the revised Norwegian National Budget 2008 suggested the value of the government pension fund-global would increase by 14% to NOK2.316trn by the end of the year, although at the time the pension fund had increased in value by 3.6% between March and April.

But in early October, Kristin Halvorsen, the Norwegian minister of finance, claimed the fund was "still on track" to reach the target, as although the decision to increase the allocation to equities from 40% to 60%, resulting in 52% at the end of June 2008, had led to poor returns, the 48% allocation to fixed income had "held up better". (See earlier IPE article: Norway pension fund on track for 2008 target)

The latest figures from Norges Bank have been published ahead of the Government Pension Fund - Global's third-quarter results, which are scheduled for release on 25 November.

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