Export Credit Norway signed new loan agreements totalling NOK 2.5 billion in the fourth quarter of the year (Q4 2016: NOK 0.2 billion), and disbursed NOK 884 million in new loans (Q4 2016: NOK 2.5 billion). The normal period between signature of a loan agreement and loan disbursement is approximately one to two years, reflecting the project timetable. As at 31 December 2017, the company’s lending balance amounted to NOK 69.4 billion (Q4 2016: NOK 76.5 billion).
Industry and environmental technology grew strongly in the fourth quarter. The industry segment encompasses ICT, aquaculture and related equipment, energy and electricity production, and other onshore manufacturing. The environmental technology segment comprises wind and solar power projects. In Q4, Export Credit Norway received 39 loan applications (Q4 2016: 38) linked to these segments, representing an application volume of NOK 9.8 billion (Q4 2016: NOK 8.9 billion).
“Q4 was a record quarter for the industry segment in terms of disbursement volume, with disbursements totalling NOK 579 million. The industry and environmental technology lending portfolio is dominated by small and medium-sized loans, reflecting growth in these segments,” says Export Credit Norway CEO Otto Søberg.
In Q4 2017, Export Credit Norway received a total of 69 loan applications (Q4 2016: 79) from all industry sectors, representing an overall application volume of NOK 24.2 billion (Q4 2016: NOK 21.9 billion). Some 41% of loan applications came from small and medium-sized businesses, a high-priority target group for the company.
“Norway needs more exporters, and supporting these undertakings is a key priority. Small and medium-sized businesses often need more sales support and guidance than large, well-established enterprises. We want to invest in these areas to build a stronger foundation for profitable growth, and to help small exporters to expand and become even more competitive internationally,” says Otto Søberg.
Full-year figures 2017
Export Credit Norway signed loan agreements totalling NOK 9.8 billion in 2017 (2016: NOK 11.3 billion). These are due to be disbursed over the next few years. The company’s lending balance totalled NOK 69.4 billion as at 31 December 2017 (2016: NOK 76.5 billion).
“The total volume of signed loan agreements was considerably higher than forecast after the first six months of the year, confirming the positive signals we have observed in the market. Rising oil prices, positive developments in the Norwegian economy and expected growth among Norway’s most important trade partners give us some grounds for optimism,” says Søberg.
The oil and gas equipment segment showed a downward trend throughout 2017, in terms not only of application numbers and the application volume, but also the lending balance. Corresponding parameters for ships and ship equipment remained stable in 2017, and the application volume for this segment was satisfactory.
“We have noted the cautious optimism that is starting to spread among oil service stakeholders, and will do our best to assist them going forward. The successful market reorientation implemented by the maritime industry as a whole, and Norwegian shipyards in particular, is impressive to see. It is reflected in the relative stability of the full-year figures for 2017, compared to last year,” says Søberg.
As at 31 December 2017, 73% of Export Credit Norway’s lending portfolio was guaranteed by GIEK, with the remainder 27% being guaranteed by Norwegian banks (14%) and foreign banks (13%).
Published 20. Feb 2018