Organized by the Norwegian Consulate General, in co-operation with Export Credit Norway, GIEK and DNB, this year’s Conference had the following theme: “Look to Norway: Cutting Edge Technology – Attractive Long Term Financing.” In this context, presentations were given to showcase long term financing of Norwegian capital goods and services, and briefings were offered by some of the many users of the financing vehicles that are currently available. In addition, the attendees at the Conference were given an overview of the macroeconomic situation in the U.S., in particular against the backdrop of the European situation, as well as a rundown on the future of oil.
This year’s conference represented the third time that the Consulate General has hosted a Norwegian Finance Day, and the second time that this particular conference was held at the Federal Reserve Bank. It brought together representatives from Norwegian and U.S. companies, as well as potential users of the financing scheme offered by the Norwegian agencies. Speaking at the conference were representatives from DNB, Guarantee Institute for Export Credits (GIEK), Export Credit Norway, INTSOK, Kongsberg Maritime, Pacific Drilling, and the University of Houston, with Lars Børre Hasle, Senior Vice President of Export Credit Norway, serving as conference moderator.
Jasna Stojanovic from GIEK
The official welcome to the conference attendees was given by Michelle Trevino, Assistant Vice President at the Federal Reserve Bank in Houston, followed by opening remarks by Consul General Jostein Mykletun. Both Trevino and the Consul General used the opportunity to highlight the close connection between Texas and Norway – where special emphasis was given to the shared interest in energy, and especially oil. The first speaker of the day was Torbjørn Kjus, Senior Oil Analyst for DNB. During his presentation, Kjus shared statistics revealing that Texas has surpassed Norway’s oil production, which has resulted in an increased demand for advanced technology and highly skilled workers. Bill Gilmer, former Vice President of the Federal Reserve Bank in Houston, described how the U.S. is slowly starting to recover from the recession, with strong corporate finance and a housing market that is bouncing back.
Presentations were also given by conference partners GIEK and Export Credit Norway. These two government owned institutions help finance and guarantee loans when a non-Norwegian company purchases services and technology from a Norwegian company, thus offering these companies both cheap and secure financing, coupled with highly advanced Norwegian technological solutions in the offshore and shipbuilding sector. These two institutions have also joined together with financial institutions like the major Norwegian bank DNB, one of the largest financiers of the shipping industry, which has enabled them to offer guarantees for loans that the financial institution has issued – thereby integrating the process and making it more transparent.
The audience enjoying one of the presentations during the 3rd Norwegian Finance Day
Toward the end of the event, both Kongsberg Maritime and Pacific Drilling, two of the users of the system, outlined the experiences they have had with the Norwegian export agencies. As a result of these agencies’ partnership with financial institutions and their solid financial backing, they have been able to simplify the application process and made the access to financing more available. Pacific Drilling, which was established in 2006, now has more than 1,000 employees and a market cap of $2 billion. Their first debt financing had 20 percent participation from GIEK/Export Credit, which illustrates the ambitious involvement by these agencies.
After lunch, the attendees were offered a guided tour of the Federal Reserve Bank, which gave them an opportunity to get a better understanding of the bank’s activities.
Having concluded a successful conference for the third year in a row, the organizers are now planning a fourth Norwegian Finance Day, to be hosted at the Federal Reserve Bank in Houston on February 25, 2014. If you were unable to make it to this year’s conference, we recommend that you save the date.
For a closer look at the presentations please see below:
Torbjørn Kjus - "The fat lady has started to sing"
Bill Gilmer - "US Outlook Weakens in 2013"
Jarle Roth and Laila Johnsen - "Financing Norwegian technology exports"
Jasna Stojanovic - "GIEK guarantees - the key factor to successful financing when buying from Norway"
Eirik Hammer - "DNB, an attractive partner in Global Export Finance"
Jon Holvik - "The US market and a word about Norwegian Financing"
Johannes Boots - "U.S. user of the Norwegian System"