January 16, 2018 / 11:43 AM / a year ago

Norway's DNB will lend more to big firms in 2018 -executive

OSLO, Jan 16 (Reuters) - Norway’s DNB, the country’s biggest bank, has significant funds available for lending to large corporation in 2018, executive vice president Harald Serck-Hanssen told Reuters on Tuesday.

“There’s a change here. While we’ve been cutting back on lending to big firms in the last 2-3 years, we’ll be keeping the portfolio size stable, which implies a significant ability to lend in 2018,” he said on the sidelines of a conference.

“With a portfolio of 600 billion Norwegian crowns ($76 billion), which has a turnover of 150 billion to 200 billion each year, it gives us a quite considerable capacity for new business,” Serck-Hanssen added.

Health, biotech, communications, telecoms and other forms of infrastructure are likely recipients of loans, he said.

“We also aim for traditional industry, not least due to our considerable expansion of corporate lending in Sweden ... the outlook for Sweden’s traditional industry firms is strong,” Serck-Hanssen added.

Retailers and owners of real estate used for shopping will meanwhile receive particular scrutiny in light of demographic changes and the rapid growth of e-commerce, he said. ($1 = 7.8818 Norwegian crowns) (Reporting by Camilla Knudsen, editing by Terje Solsvik)

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