Year in Review: Banking and Financing
After a hectic first quarter, the focus shifted dramatically after the lockdown in mid-March. Within a few days, we went from negotiating new financings within most industries to assisting our clients with urgent waivers and liquidity loans.
After the initial chaotic period, we have, however, seen a more normalized period with considerable activity where strong companies and good projects have been able to obtain new financings on acceptable terms. We have also seen a considerable focus on restructurings, including within the shipping and offshore sector.
We expect that this will continue in the first part of 2021. Existing lenders will closely monitor the industries which are most affected by the pandemic with a particular focus on restructuring, while for other industries, favourable financings will generally be available.
Covid-19 related issues set aside, 2020 has also brought on several legal and regulatory changes affecting the lending market. This includes the new Financial Contracts Act (which still has not come into force) and a new Norwegian exception enabling group companies to provide financial assistance in connection with M&A transactions and acquisition finance.
Other focus areas have been sustainable finance initiatives, increased attention on KYC and sanctions, digitalization and the LIBOR/IBOR transition. It will be interesting to see how this will play out further into 2021.
We would like to thank all our clients and counterparties for the good cooperation during 2020 and look forward to working with you in 2021.
This article is part of a series of articles where the different practice groups in SVW will summarize the most important regulatory happenings in Norway in 2020.
Should you want further insight in some of 2020’s most relevant financial topics, please check out our latest short and sweet articles: