‘Call me Equinor’: Norway’s Statoil changes name

The new name of Statoil, Equinor, is meant to combine the idea of equity and equilibrium (“equi”) and geographical origin (“nor”) for Norway. (AFP)
Updated 16 May 2018
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‘Call me Equinor’: Norway’s Statoil changes name

OSLO: Norway’s largest oil company Statoil officially changed its name to Equinor on Wednesday as it forges ahead with its drive into renewable energy.
Proposed in March and adopted on Tuesday at the shareholders’ general meeting, the name change allows the company to take a step back — at least in name — from the Norwegian state, which owns 67 percent of its shares, and from oil.
Equinor is meant to combine the idea of equity and equilibrium (“equi”) and geographical origin (“nor”) for Norway.
Founded in 1972 to operate Norway’s large oil fields, the company — which is listed on both the Oslo and New York stock exchanges — is now active in renewable energies, including wind farms off the UK coast.
The group has earmarked 15-20 percent of its investments to “new energy solutions” by 2030.
But this shift has been cold shouldered by environmentalists concerned about global warming as they accuse the company of “green washing.”
“Statoil name change to attract young talent will not be sufficient as long as #Equinor is exploring in vulnerable areas, such as the Arctic or the Great Australian Bight,” tweeted Truls Gulowsen, leader for Greenpeace in Norway.


Head of Saudi Arabia’s SRC: ‘Ask banks for a mortgage, and we will refinance it’

Updated 47 min 25 sec ago
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Head of Saudi Arabia’s SRC: ‘Ask banks for a mortgage, and we will refinance it’

  • SRC CEO Fabrice Susini: One of our key objectives is to ensure that the banks are extending loans to more and more people
  • Extending home-ownership is one of the cornerstones of the Vision 2030 strategy to diversify the economy away from oil production

RIYADH: The head of the state-owned Saudi Real Estate Refinance Company (SRC) has made an unprecedented offer to the Kingdom’s home-seekers to underwrite future mortgages.
Speaking at the Financial Sector Conference in Riyadh, Fabrice Susini, SRC CEO, told the audience: “Ask them (the banks) for a mortgage, and we will refinance it.”
Although Susini later clarified his remarks to show that he still expected normal standards of mortgage applications to be met, the on-stage show of bravado illustrates SRC’s commitment to facilitate home-ownership in the Kingdom.
“Obviously if you have no revenue, no income, poor credit history, that will not apply. Now if you have a job, it is different. We have people in senior positions at big foreign banks that could not get a mortgage,” he explained.
He said that Saudi banks have traditionally assessed mortgages on the basis of “flow stability” of earnings. Government employees, or those of big corporations like Saudi Aramco and SABIC, found it easy to get mortgages “because you were there for life.”
“One of our key objectives is to ensure that the banks are extending loans to more and more people. The government is pushing for entrepreneurship, private development, private jobs. If you work in the private sector and cannot get a mortgage the next thing you will do is go to the government for a job,” Susini said.
Extending home-ownership is one of the cornerstones of the Vision 2030 strategy to diversify the economy away from oil production. Saudi Arabia has one of the lowest rates of mortgage penetration of any G20 country — in single digit percentages, compared with others at up to 50 percent.