Norway

Norwegian oil and gas rig operator Dolphin Drilling filed for bankruptcy on Wednesday, leading creditors to seize its key assets in a restructuring that will see the company maintain operations, Reuters reported. Formerly known as Fred. Olsen Energy, Dolphin Drilling ASA had debt of just over $1 billion at the end of 2018 and a net loss for the year of almost $300 million, its annual report shows.

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Seadrill’s core earnings for the fourth quarter exceeded the company’s own guidance, boosted by lower costs and one-off items, while the market outlook for drilling rigs was improving, the Oslo and New York-listed firm said on Tuesday. The company, controlled by Norwegian-born billionaire John Fredriksen, reported $73 million in quarterly adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA), more than double the $35 million forecast it made in November, Reuters reported.

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Scandinavians are taking a hard look at their institutions as allegations of systematic money laundering rock the entire region, Bloomberg News reported. With Swedbank AB becoming the latest lender to get dragged into a dirty money scandal that’s already engulfed Danske Bank A/S, those at the top of Sweden’s financial establishment are speaking out. Hans Lindblad, the director general of the Swedish National Debt Office, says the financial industry now risks losing the trust of the people. He says the consequences of that would be dire for the whole economy.

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Norwegian Air’s shareholders overwhelmingly endorsed on Tuesday the lossmaking airline’s plan for a deeply discounted cash call to help bolster its finances, Chairman Bjoern Kise said. Norwegian Air said on Jan. 29 it would raise 3 billion Norwegian crowns ($348 million) in a rights issue, just days after British Airways owner IAG ruled out a bid for the budget carrier, Reuters reported.

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British Airways parent IAG SA abandoned an eight-month pursuit of Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA, leaving the indebted discount airline reeling as it faces a cash crunch during the slow winter season, Bloomberg News reported. IAG “does not intend” to make a further bid and will be selling a 3.9 percent stake in due course, it said Thursday. Norwegian slumped as much as 26 percent, the most ever, while IAG reversed earlier declines to trade higher. Bjorn Kjos, the Scandinavian carrier’s chief executive officer, previously rejected two offers from London-based IAG as undervaluing the business.

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Norwegian offshore drilling rig firm Seadrill Ltd said on Thursday that Chief Financial Officer Mark Morris will step down following completion of the company’s financial restructuring, Reuters reported. The company, controlled by Norwegian-born billionaire John Fredriksen, said it has begun a formal search process and that Morris will remain in the role until the end of June to make the transition possible. Separately, Seadrill Partners said Morris would step down as chief executive officer of that firm at the end of June.

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The Norwegian markets regulator has censured Nasdaq’s commodities exchange in Oslo for supervisory failures after a trader blew a €114m hole in the stability fund that ensures the safety of derivatives trading last year, the Financial Times reported. The business failed to adequately monitor its trading members or the traders’ positions limit the regulator had set, a report on Thursday from Finanstilsynet, the Norwegian financial supervisory authority, said.

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Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA took pains to reassure investors about the solidity of its cash position and plans to sell aircraft and cut costs as disruptions in the debt-laden budget carrier’s long-haul flights add to difficulties during the traditionally slow winter season, Bloomberg News reported. “To meet the competitive environment in a period with seasonally lower demand in Europe, the company has made several changes to its route portfolio as well as adjusted its capacity,” Norwegian said on Monday.
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Norwegian power trader Einar Aas, widely regarded as the biggest in the market, will keep his house and a few other assets in a deal with creditors after his spectacular default on Nasdaq Inc.’s Nordic power exchange this year, Bloomberg News reported. The agreement, which was announced on Thursday, marked the end of week-long negotiations between Aas and members of Nasdaq’s default fund who are seeking to recoup as much as possible of the about 100 million euros ($113 million) they had to put on the table when the trader’s bets soured in September.

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Norwegian power trader Einar Aas has reached an agreement with creditors, including Nasdaq Clearing, after his default in September forced members of the clearing house to stump up around 100 million euros ($113 million) to cover his losses, Reuters reported. Nasdaq Commodities, which operates the Nordic power exchange, said on Thursday that Aas had agreed to sell his assets to help the clearing house and its members recover the money they had to put into a default fund.

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