Export Credit Norway received 61 loan applications (Q1 2018: 99) representing a total application volume of NOK 23.8 billion in the first quarter of 2019. While the application volume remained almost unchanged compared to the preceding quarter (NOK 23.6 billion), it was significantly lower than in Q1 2018 (NOK 73.4 billion) – a quarter in which the application volume was unusually high.
Export Credit Norway disbursed NOK 1.2 billion in new loans during the first quarter, up from NOK 322 million in Q1 2018. Among other things, the disbursements made during the quarter related to a loan for the purchase of a specially designed krill-harvesting vessel called Arctic Endurance, a further ship in the cruise segment and part-financing of a fishing boat.
New loan agreements totalling approximately NOK 900 million were signed in Q1. (Q1 2018: NOK 1.1 billion).
Diversity and SMEs
The application inflow remains highly diverse in terms of both project types and represented industry segments. Among other things, Export Credit Norway received four applications relating to offshore wind energy vessels in the first quarter. Some 46% of the first-quarter loan applications came from small and medium-sized enterprises. Norway’s SME exporters represent numerous industry segments, and are often sub-contractors of larger undertakings.
“We have observed heavy investment in national export financing schemes, with various countries launching products and services tailored specifically to their own SMEs. Ongoing restructuring in Norway and the need to boost Norwegian exports further in coming decades underline the need for reinforcement of the instruments available in support of Norwegian exporters. I am therefore encouraged by the Government’s launch of an in-depth evaluation of framework conditions for Norwegian businesses both nationally and internationally,” says Export Credit Norway CEO Otto Søberg.
Lower lending balance
Export Credit Norway’s lending balance totalled NOK 59.9 billion at the end of the first quarter, down from NOK 65.9 billion at the same time last year. The drop is primarily due to a number of large early loan redemptions. Several loan redemptions were linked to restructurings under which guarantors have taken over liability for issued loans.
“Interest in export financing remains strong. Despite relatively good access to capital in many industries, we expect to disburse more new loans in 2019 than in 2018, and a corresponding increase in the lending balance,” says Otto Søberg.
As at 31 March 2019, Export Credit Norway’s loan portfolio was guaranteed by GIEK (71%), Norwegian banks (15%) and foreign banks (14%).
Export Credit Norway is a state-owned limited liability company which provides Norwegian and foreign companies with loan financing for purchases of goods and services from Norwegian exporters.
Published 28. May 2019