Net asset value (NAV) for Aker ASA and companies in its holding structure (Aker) was NOK 21.2 billion or NOK 292.40 per Aker share before dividend as of 31 March 2011, up 15.2 percent from year-end 2010. In the first quarter of 2011, Aker's share price rose by 21.8 percent while the Oslo Stock Exchange benchmark index (OSEBX) increased 1.3 percent.
Aker's investment portfolios developed favorably in the first quarter of 2011. The Aker Industrial Holdings portfolio increased by 35.2 percent, and portfolio shares in the listed companies Aker Solutions, Aker Drilling, Det norske oljeselskap, and Aker BioMarine achieved sound value growth in the reporting period.
Turning to the Financial Investments portfolio, Aker's total loans to subsidiaries and associated companies decreased to NOK 2.6 billion in the first quarter of 2011, down from NOK 5.5 billion at year-end 2010. In addition, guarantee commitments decreased by a total of NOK 1.6 billion. Cash and cash equivalents increased from NOK 2.9 billion to NOK 4.8 billion in the quarter, and now constitute 20 percent of Aker's total assets. This development further strengthens Aker's financial clout.
The Funds portfolio also increased in value as a consequence of appreciation as well as new investments in the first quarter of 2011. Norron Asset Management located in Stockholm, an asset management company 51-percent owned by Aker, launched three new funds in the quarter. Aker invested SEK 300 million in the multi-strategy fund Norron Target and the hedge fund Norron Select
In the first quarter of 2011, companies in Aker's Industrial Holdings portfolio completed key value-creating transactions. Aker Solutions completed the sale of AMC and the bulk of the Process & Construction business as planned.
Following the NOK 3.9 billion Aker Drilling share issue, Aker's stake in the offshore drilling company was reduced from 100 percent to 41.1 percent. Aker Drilling was refinanced and listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange on 25 February.
In late April 2011, Aker sold approximately NOK 170 million of Aker Drilling bonds. The sale, corporate refinancing, and exchange-listing of the drilling company resulted in a NOK 2.4 billion net positive cash effect for Aker. Accordingly, Aker is now solely an equity investor in Aker Drilling.
On 6 May 2011, Aker Solutions' annual shareholders' meeting voted to spin off the EPC business to company shareholders. The EPC company will continue its development under the historical industrial name Kværner ASA; listing on the Oslo Stock Exchange is scheduled for July 2011. Aker Holding will become the largest Kværner shareholder, with 40.1 percent of its stock after the transactions are completed. Aker owns 60 percent of Aker Holding shares; the Kværner investment will be a component of Aker's Industrial Holdings portfolio.
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Source: Aker ASA via Thomson Reuters ONE