The primary market in Oslo has been setting records through the past month as the amount of capital raised by issuing shares hit its highest level since 2007 – with some NOK4.6bn (€502m) raised, mostly by energy-related businesses such as FLEX LNG, Archer and Farstad Shipping.
The first quarter has also overall proved strong, the stock market operator has reported. Year-to-date the value of issuances has hit NOK9.9bn (€1.1bn). Excluding the Hydro-Vale transaction in February 2011, there has not been as much money raised from the primary market since the first quarter of 2007, the Børs said.
The market has also seen greater levels of turnover in its first quarter compared to the same period last year; equity turnover was up some 12.3% by value, and up 10.5% measured by volume of trades. These figures for equity trades reflect the changes seen in the local market for debt.
According to figures published in the past week, there have never been as many debt issuances as in March this year. Some 61 new bond and certificated debt issuances were offered over the month, some 12 more than the last monthly peak noted in 2014. Banks accounted over half the new debt issued by number of instruments.
However, there was also a surge in listed municipal bonds. Some 16 new debt issuances worth NOK4.35bn (€475m) were take out via the market, including five municipalities who tapped the capital markets this way for the first time ever; Stord, Eidsberg, Porsgrunn, Østre Toten and Sørum. Year-to-date there are now some 63 Norwegian municipalities with debt instruments listed on the Børs.
Looking at performance of Norway equity funds, data from the Norwegian Fund and Asset Management Association (VFF) indicates that performance over the past year has been stronger than over the three-year period. However, year-t0-date there have been some negative returns, reflecting the performance of the Oslo Børs, which recorded its second month in a row of negative performance in March.
|FORTE Trønder||03/31/2017||-11.26 %||24.39 %||19.40 %||–||–|
|Alfred Berg Gambak||03/31/2017||-1.95 %||22.63 %||18.91 %||18.32 %||7.33 %|
|Pareto Investment Fund C||03/31/2017||-0.88 %||17.83 %||17.41 %||–||–|
|FIRST Generator||03/31/2017||4.58 %||45.51 %||17.23 %||18.30 %||–|
|Handelsbanken Norge||03/31/2017||-1.58 %||15.80 %||17.15 %||16.67 %||6.75 %|
The top performer over the three-year period, FORTE Trønder, is unusual in that it focuses geographically on companies located in or doing most of their business in ‘mid Norway’. Thus, its portfolio is exposed to companies such Aker BP, SalMar, SpareBank1, Next Biometrics and Marine Harvest.
FIRST Generator, which performed strongest of the five funds outlined in the past year, has DNB, DNO, Nickel Mountain, Norwegian Air Shuttle and Genel Energy among its top holdings, according to Morningstar Norway data.