Eksportfinans was founded on March 2, 1962 following an initiative from the Norwegian Ministry of Finance, the Central Bank of Norway and the Norwegian commercial banks. The background was a lack of suitable long-term financing schemes for the Norwegian export industry and export contracts.
In 1978, Eksportfinans entered into an agreement with the Norwegian government to manage the OECD scheme for subsidized export financing on their behalf - an agreement that would last for more than 30 years. Throughout the years, Eksportfinans has financed Norwegian export contracts from exporters in all the counties of Norway and to clients in all parts of the world.
Having built sound financial viability and high creditworthiness during the first 15 years of operations, Eksportfinans issued its first international bond transaction in 1978. The first interest rate and currency swap was entered into in 1984, and this revolutionized the possibilities of borrowing risk-free in foreign currencies.
From the mid 1980s and throughout the 90's, Eksportfinans co-operated closely with the Norwegian Development Aid Agency, NORAD. Together, the two institutions offered so-called mixed credits to finance Norwegian export contracts to developing countries. In 2001 the Kingdom of Norway became owner of Eksportfinans by taking a 15 percent stake in the company.
Eksportfinans was a leading borrower in the international capital markets from the 1980s until 2012. This was in large parts due to Eksportfinans' innovative approach to funding and its proactivity in creating the necessary infrastructure to follow developments in financial instruments and structures. For these reasons the funding team has received numerous awards, and has been named international borrower of the year on several occasions. Eksportfinans did not seek new funding from the markets since November 2011.
In 1999, when Eksportfinans acquired the municipal lending institution Kommunekreditt Norge AS, Eksportfinans became one of two major players in the municipal lending sector. Following a full strategic assessment of Eksportfinans' business, Kommunekreditt was sold to Kommunal Landspensjonskasse (KLP) in May 2009. In 2010 Eksportfinans entered into new areas of financing such as renewable energy, environmental protection and infrastructure.
On November 18, 2011, the Norwegian government announced that it would assume responsibility for the state-supported export financing scheme previously managed by Eksportfinans since 1978. Consequently, Eksportfinans’ Board of Directors resolved to discontinue new lending and to go forward actively managing its existing portfolio of loans, in addition to its other assets, liabilities (Press release dated November 18, 2011).