GIEK has faith in the oil and gas industry despite the current downturn

-GIEK believes in the industry and will continue to support Norwegian exporters. But we are also taking our role as creditor seriously to make sure we break even in the long term, said GIEK’s CEO Wenche Nistad to a full house at Pareto’s oil and gas conference today. Cutting costs in the oil and gas industry was a key topic at the conference.

Nistad talked about how GIEK, with the world’s largest credit portfolio within the offshore oil and gas industry, will deal with the challenges in the industry. During the past 10 years, the portfolio has grown sevenfold from NOK 15 billion to 100 billion.

GIEK’s exposure limit is set by Parliament, and GIEK has a dual mandate as a state guarantor. While supporting Norwegian exporters the agency should break even in the long term. GIEK must protect its interest as credit risk taker and defines its role as a creditor in the same way as a commercial financial institution.

-GIEK will not support and protect financial investors including bond investors. Our role is to support the Norwegian export industry. GIEK will have to protect its creditor position by being proactive. We will seek to prevent net cash flow being paid to equity holders and lower rank creditors, Nistad explained.

GIEK will in most cases hold a first priority mortgage in the vessels we finance. We rank on same terms (pari passu) as one or more financial institutions, thus being in the group of the best positioned creditors in case of a potential default and/or restructuring case. Every case has to be treated individually.

- GIEK is a professional financial institution with special expertise within the offshore sector. We have an experienced analytical team and legal department, and will make our own decisions based on what we think will serve the taxpayers’ interest. We can take a long term view if deemed best to our interest, said Nistad.