Martin Nietz with Anna Musiej Aanensen, Senior Vice President – Lending Oil & Gas, to the right) and Marie Sørli, Senior Transactions Manager – Lending (to the left).Team Norway in Rio de Janeiro has a new member.
Export Credit Norway is an agency that helps Norwegian exporters to succeed abroad, by offering Norwegian and foreign companies competitive financing when buying goods and services from Norwegian exporters.
The customers of Export Credit Norway come from all over the world, and purchase everything from ships, drill rigs and subsea technology to solar panels, hydropower turbines, cinema seats and design services.
The Rio de Janeiro office is the first representation abroad ever established by the Norwegian export financing agency Export Credit Norway – a strong signal, according to Martin Nietz, the local advisor of Export Credit Norway in Brazil.
«The discussions started last year. Brazil is our biggest international market, and Export Credit Norway wanted to increase their presence on the Brazilian market. They needed to have someone on the ground, but sending someone over here did not seem like the right approach. The solution we came up with, was a partnership with Innovation Norway», Martin Nietz explains.
Brazil is expected to continue to be the biggest international offshore market. Export Credit Norway has provided the financing to several Brazilian oil and gas players so it’s important to monitor further development of the local market conditions.
The Brazilian market is experiencing major challenges at the moment, and the crisis involving Petrobras, with consequences for Sete Brasil investments, is something that Mr. Nietz is following very closely.
«There are a lot of uncertainties right now, and to do the best possible research and find the correct facts, you need to be close to the market. », Mr. Nietz says.
He has been working for Innovation Norway in Rio de Janeiro for 3 years, mostly with cross-industry projects seeking to support and facilitate the market entry of Norwegian companies to Brazil. A significant part of his work week he now dedicates to Export Credit Norway following up the company’s existing clients and projects and the analysis of possible future projects.
«There are a lot of synergies with the work we do at Innovation Norway. Export Credit Norway offers credit to buyers of Norwegian equipment, for instance on FPSO-s or rigs being constructed abroad and in Brazil. Oil and gas, aquaculture, renewables and clean-tech are all areas where the footprint of Norway is expected to be bigger in Brazil.»
Financing is one of the main challenges in the current market. All the funding provided by Export Credit Norway has to be guaranteed, either by GIEK or other ECAs and commercial banks.
«Export Credit Norway offers export credits at very attractive rates. It is a secure and stable way of financing, and I would say it contributes to increasing the competitiveness of Norwegian suppliers, it increases the tool set», Mr. Nietz says.
«As Export Credit Norway may be involved in financing of large transactions, it’s good to have a local representative in Brazil understanding both the local conditions and rules. Certain issues are easier to resolve by local representation rather than by email. My job is to provide information, and the situation is not as bad as it looks. There are still business opportunities, ongoing and future projects. More than 100 Norwegian companies are present here in Brazil which is still a relevant market to those companies», Mr. Nietz argues.
EVP Director of Lending for shipping & offshore Olav Einar Rygg agrees.
«Having a local representative in Brazil will surely increase our abilities in following up our projects, as well spotting new opportunities, in the Brazilian market. The position comprises following up leads and potential projects at an early stage, in addition to offering assistance to our existing projects in the region», Mr. Rygg says in article on the website of Export Credit Norway.
Export Credit Norway is the newest member of Team Norway in Rio de Janeiro. Martin Nietz believes that the joint effort of Team Norway is what makes Norway strong in the Brazilian market.
«It is a very good way of working together, and Export Credit Norway fits perfectly into the Team Norway strategy. We remain positive, the oil is still there, and Petrobras will get back on its feet. Our commitment to the Brazilian market is a long term commitment. We are here for the long run», he says.
WHAT IS EXPORT CREDIT NORWAY?
Export Credit Norway is a state-owned limited liability company that offers competitive financing to buyers of Norwegian capital goods and services worldwide. The company provides long-term financing towards a range of purposes.
Export Credit Norway offers loans with two different sets of interest terms: fixed-rate Commercial Interest Reference Rate (CIRR) and CIRR-qualified market loans with variable rates. All loans must be secured by guarantees from GIEK and/or other acceptable financial institutions.
Norwegian exporters may apply for loans on behalf of potential buyers and the buyers can also apply directly.
By Runa Hestmann, NBCC journalist