NORWAY – The 942.4 billion-crown (114.1 billion-euro) Petroleum Fund says it has funded seven new equity mandates - and that its second quarter return was –0.15%.

“In the second quarter of 2004, capital was transferred to seven new mandates that have been assigned to external equity managers,” the fund said.

A UK regional mandate was awarded to Fidelity Pensions Management while one sector mandate each was assigned to Alliance Capital Management, Columbus Circle Investors, Wellington Management Co., T Rowe Price Associates, Schroder Investment Management Limited and Fidelity Pensions Management.

The fund’s equity portfolio rose 6.8 billion crowns to 390.2 billion crowns in the quarter, despite having no capital transfers during the period. At the end of the quarter, around 41% of its equity portfolio was managed externally.

The fund returned –0.15% in the quarter, or 0.08 percentage points higher than benchmark. First half return was +2.77% in the first half, or 0.32 percentage points above benchmark.

The fund gained 29.6 billion crowns in capital transfers from the government in the quarter – placed in its fixed income portfolios - taking the fund’s total value to 942.4 billion crowns.

The scheme said its average information ratio - widely seen as a measure of manager skill – is an annualised 1.13.