OSLO, Feb 28 (Reuters) - The Norwegian Export Credit Guarantee Agency (GIEK), a state-owned provider of financing for exporters, cut its portfolio’s exposure to oil and gas last year to below 80 percent, Chief Executive Wenche Nistad said on Wednesday.
** Ship yards produced more cruise ships and fewer offshore vessels, while investments in renewable energy equipment increased
** In 2016 the oil and gas sector held 86 percent of the agency’s guarantees
** “The guarantees have been for a lot of offshore vessels that have been built in Norway and now the yards have shifted from offshore vessels to cruise vessels. Yards are very important customers. This influences the portfolio,” she said
** GIEK’s 2017 earnings, which have not yet been published, will swing to a profit from a 2016 loss, Nistad added
** Despite requests from exporters, GIEK has so far been unable to support businesses seeking to sell to Iran
** “We haven’t been able to guarantee investments in Iran so far, this has to do with the banking sector and the banking relationships with Iran. Because we need a bank to cooperate with in case we should do some transactions and this has proven to be very, very difficult,” Nistad added (Reporting by Lefteris Karagiannopoulos, editing by Terje Solsvik)