NORWAY - The Norwegian government’s NOK1.09trn (€134bn) Petroleum Fund says it funded a new fixed income mandate and three new equities mandates in the first quarter of 2005.

The fund said in its first-quarter report that it transferred capital to a specialised US fixed income brief awarded to Advantus Capital Management during the period.

And it also funded Japanese equities briefs awarded to Fidelity Pensions Management and Sparx Asset Management. A US regional mandate was awarded to Barrow, Hanley, Mewhinney & Strauss. The size of the mandates was not immediately available.

The fund said it made a 1.03% return on its investments in the first quarter, or 0.13 percentage points higher than benchmark. Equities returned 2.01% while fixed income returned 0.37%.

The fund’s market value increase by NOK73.7bn in the quarter.

The fund said in a statement that its average annualized information ratio – a measure of manager skill – has been 1.16 from 1998 to date.

At the end of March NOK984m was transferred from the fund to Norges Bank as remuneration for managing the fund in 2004.

The bank has been using a model that calculates direct and indirect transaction costs individually since the start of the year. This is because the method of transferring capital to the fund has changed.

Capital was previously transferred in the form of securities. From the third quarter of 2004, that changed to cash transfers - which means transaction costs have been charged directly to the fund.

It conducted a study of the methods used by some of the leading transaction managers to create its model.