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Review of the equity benchmark for the Government Pension Fund Global

The Ministry of Finance has received assessments from Norges Bank on the composition of the equity benchmark for the Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG). The Ministry’s assessments will be presented in the report on the Government Pension Fund in the spring of 2020.

"Equities make up the majority of the investments in the GPFG and it is important that the framework for these investments is appropriate and updated. Towards next spring, we will consider whether there is a need for making adjustments to the equity benchmark. The Bank’s assessments are part of the contributions we will receive for this work," says Finance Minister Siv Jensen.

The Ministry of Finance’s review will be broad, including assessments of risk and how we best should meet the expectations set for the management of our common savings. Therefore, the consultancy firm and index provider MSCI has also been asked to prepare a report containing analyses of equity market trends and consequences for risk and return of different geographical compositions. The report should be finalised this autumn.

The assessments from Norges Bank as well as the report from MSCI will form part of the basis for decision when the Ministry of Finance decides whether to adjust the framework and the equity benchmark for the GPFG. The Ministry will present its assessments in the annual report to the Storting on the Government Pension Fund next spring.

Implementation of any changes in the benchmark index will be gradually over time.

Background

The Ministry of Finance has initiated a review of the equity framework and benchmark for the GPFG. The review was announced in the report The Government Pension Fund 2019 (Meld. St. 20 (2018-2019)).

Norges Bank was asked in a letter of 6 November 2018, for, inter alia, analyses and assessments of return and risk characteristics. The Bank was also asked to assess whether the regional composition of the index should be changed, as well as to describe the framework for managing and controlling the specific risks of investments in emerging markets and the experience from investing in these markets.

About the equity benchmark

The equity benchmark for the GPFG is based on the FTSE Global All Cap market index, and includes all countries, with the exception of Norway, which the index provider FTSE Russell classifies as developed markets, advanced emerging markets or secondary emerging markets. The composition of the benchmark index seeks to address important considerations of the Fund's investment strategy, such as the broad diversification of risk and the harvesting of risk premiums. Responsible management of the Fund and greatest possible transparency are emphasised.

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