NORWAY - Municipal pension funds realised an 18% rise in total assets from NOK21.7bn at year-end 2003 to NOK25.6bn at the end of 2004.
By comparison, total assets for private pension funds increased by just 9% to NOK81bn in 2004. The report by Statistic Norway attributed this increase to an improvement in the security market, in which 87% of private pension funds' total assets are invested.
The figures also showed municipal enterprises pension funds increased their total assets by 17% in the same period, from NOK6.1bn to NOK7.1bn.
Private pension funds had a NOK2265m surplus in 2004, compared with a NOK1667m surplus in 2003. Municipal pension funds had a surplus of NOK508m in 2004, while the municipal enterprises pension funds had a surplus of NOK248m in the same period.
The report suggested the increase in profit was due to performance in the securities market. Net earnings from securities and real estate amounted to NOK4532m for private pension funds, NOK700m for municipal pension funds and NOK200m for municipal enterprises pension funds.
Investments in shares for private pension funds increased by 38.1% from 2003 to 2004, from NOK20.9bn to NOK28.9bn. Holdings of bonds increased by 7%, while securities lending decreased by 46.8% in the same period.
For the municipal pension funds, investments in shares increased by 18.4%, from NOK3.9bn in 2003 to NOK4.6bn in 2004. Bonds increased by 16.7%, to NOK15.6bn in 2004, while lending increased by 7.3% from 2003 to 2004.
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