The Norwegian government has established a new export financing company, Export Credit Norway.

State-owned Eksportkreditt Norge (Export Credit Norway) is set to open on July 1, 2012.

It will manage the Norwegian export credit scheme and will effectively replace Eksportfinans − which began winding down in November last year.

The new ECA will aim to provide a competitive export financing scheme for the Norwegian industry and will ensure that companies have access to credit, where it is otherwise unavailable in the capital markets. According to trade and industry minister Trond Giske, all loan applicants who meet the requirements will be offered loans.

Eksportfinans executive vice-president Olav Einar Rigg explains that the company will only provide funding, and that the credit risk will be borne by the Norwegian Guarantee-Institute for Export Credits (GIEK) and commercial banks.

According to him, loans will be offered either as CIRR or on market terms with a floating interest rate. Pricing of loans offered on market terms will be in compliance with the state aid regulations, ie on purely commercial terms.

Rigg tells GTR: “Export Credit Norway will represent a robust and competitive financing alternative for our customers. The Norwegian government will secure the funding of the lending activities. This is important in a volatile and fragile financial market.

“Twenty-nine current Eksportfinans employees will be operative in the new company from day one. The competence and relationships from Eksportfinans’ lending operations are transferred to the new entity. We will collaborate closely with GIEK and commercial banks to secure attractive financing solutions.”

Norway’s trade ministry has hired an interim board for the new company, and is also in the process of appointing a chief executive officer and a chief financial officer.