Oil and Gas

UPDATE 1-Norway's Aker ASA sets up bitcoin unit

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OSLO, March 8 (Reuters) - Norway’s Aker ASA is establishing a new unit dedicated to investing in bitcoin and blockchain technology, the industrial holding company said on Monday.

Seetee AS would initially have a capital of 500 million Norwegian crowns ($58.6 million) and planned to keep its liquid assets in bitcoin, Aker said.

Seetee would collaborate with Canada’s Blockstream, focusing initially on bitcoin mining while also seeking to fuse blockchain technology with Aker’s industrial operations, it said.

“These technologies have the potential to reduce frictions in our day to day lives, enhance the security of our digitally driven economies, and unlock new business models for innovation,” Aker ASA Chief Executive Oeyvind Eriksen said.

Aker, a holding company controlled by Norwegian billionaire investor Kjell Inge Roekke, derives most of its income from the oil and gas industry, and has in recent years increased its investments in renewable energy and information technology.

$1 = 8.5319 Norwegian crowns Reporting by Terje Solsvik; Editing by Tom Hogue and Edmund Blair