Offshore Shares Are Leading The Way

Friday, December 10, 1999
Offshore shares on the Oslo Stock Exchange continued to rise in November, buoyed by the continuing high oil price and expectations of increased level of activities from oil companies in the year 2000. After a few dismal months, offshore shares regained the positive position they have occupied for most of the year. Other maritime shares fell during November so it was offshore and cruise that carried the Shipping Index to a 1.9 percent rise for the month and the rise of 36.2 percent for the year so far. TGS Nopec Geophysical Company (TGS), a seismic operator with a market cap of about NOK 2 billion, was up 33 percent in November. TGS, one of the most heavily traded shares in Oslo, both within the offshore sector on the exchange and throughout, is up 164 percent so far this year. Another popular share in terms of liquidity, Ocean Rig (OCR), increased its value by 25 percent during the month, while Nortrans Offshore (NOL) charged to the top of the winner's list with a jump of 62.5 percent in its share price. Nortrans Offshore advised the market in the middle of November it was holding discussions that may lead to an offer being made for its shares. So far no decision has been made, but the company hopes to clarify the position soon. The cruise and leisure company NCL Holding (NCL) countered share price drops in September and October with a sharp rise of 14 percent, topping all maritime shares for the month. Benor Tankers (BET), Team Shipping (TSH) and Nomadic Shipping (NOS) also experienced rises of double figures. Belships (BEL) fell further during November and is now back to the share price at the beginning of the year, after doubling its market value during the first seven months of 1999. Jinhui Shipping and Transport (JIN), one of the relatively small shipping companies being heavily traded, dropped 11.5 percent for the month. For the year as a whole, however, the share price is up more than 100 percent.

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