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State Aid

PR(09)09: State funding to Eksportfinans asa does not constitute state aid

30.1.2009

Today the EFTA Surveillance Authority concluded that the Norwegian State’s funding offered to Eksportfinans ASA will be made on market conditions and does not constitute state aid within the meaning of the EEA Agreement.

Eksportfinans provides financial services to Norwegian businesses involved in the export of goods and services. The company is also the operator of government supported export financing to the Norwegian export industry. Due to the current financial crisis, Eksportfinans has experienced increased difficulty in obtaining long-term financing. In order to remedy this, the Norwegian State has entered into a loan agreement with Eksportfinans under which the State offers to provide loans over a two-year period with a total budget of NOK 30 billion. The loans are to be used to finance new export credits.

The Authority has based its assessment on its recently adopted Guidelines on a temporary framework for state aid measures to support access to finance in the current financial and economic crisis and its Guidelines on reference and discount rates. Section 4.4.1 of the temporary framework guidelines declares that interest rates which are calculated according to the method in the reference and disount rate guidelines do not contain state aid. The Norwegian authorities have confirmed that the interest rate to be applied to any loan given under the loan agreement will be equal to or higher than the rate set out in the mentioned guidelines. The Authority therefore considers that all funding offered to Eksportfinans will, in economic terms, reflect market terms.

 

For further information, please contact:

Mr. Per Andreas Bjørgan,
Director, Competition and State Aid Directorate,
Tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 36,

or

Ms. Annette Kliemann
Deputy director, Competitionand State Aid Directorate
Tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 80

 

 

Brussels, 30 January 2009

 




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