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New state-owned company for export financing

The Norwegian Government has proposed to Parliament (Storting) the establishment of a new state-owned company to manage the Norwegian state-funded export credit scheme.

The name of the new company is to be Eksportkreditt Norge AS (Export Credit Norway).

The company will be organized as a state-owned limited liability company and is to be established by 1 July 2012.

- Export Credit Norway will be established in order to ensure a robust and competitive export financing scheme for Norwegian industry. The loans will be financed by the state, which ensures companies’ access to credit in situations where credit is not available in the capital markets. All loan applicants who meet the requirements will be offered loans, says Minister of Trade and Industry, Trond Giske.

Export Credit Norway is to provide loans for export financing in the form of state-subsidised CIRR loans and CIRR-qualified market loans on commercial terms. CIRR loans are loans granted to borrowers for financing of export projects on terms compliant with the OECD “Arrangement on Officially Supported Export Credits”. The rate of interest is fixed on conclusion of the agreement, while the loan is normally disbursed somewhat later. Before drawing on the loan, the borrower may choose to take advantage of either the previously fixed CIRR interest rate or the current market rate. Loans at the current market rate are referred to as CIRR-qualified market loans.

Export Credit Norway will take responsibility for the whole process associated with sale and promotion, processing of applications, granting, disbursing and following up loans. Loans provided by the company will be owned by the government and recorded in the government balance sheet. The company will receive grants from the government for its entire operations.

The grants will be specified by the Storting in the annual budgets. All loan applicants who meet the requirements will be offered loans, and there will be no limit concerning large exposures.  It is proposed that further rules concerning the company’s activities and the relationship to other legislation be provided by law.

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