While the All Share Index dropped 2.1 percent during January, maritime shares were the best performing sector at the Oslo Stock Exchange as the Shipping Index rose 3.6 percent.
Shares worth of NOK 54.2 billion changed hands in 196,710 trades in January. On average, 9,367 trades to a value of 2,582 million were transacted daily, compared with last year's figures of 5,292 trades and NOK 1,770 million respectively. As much as 90.3 percent of all trades were automatically matched in the now one year-old trading system.
Royal Caribbean Cruises (RCL) and NCL Holding
(NCL), the two cruise operators listed at the Exchange, experienced a good month as they climbed 12.3 and 11 percent respectively. Competitive bidding made NCL Holding the second most active share in Oslo.
Among shipping companies, Belships (BEL) advanced 45 percent, topping the list, followed by Loki (LOI) and Waterfront Shipping (WAT). Only 7 shipping companies saw their market capitalisation fall during January, a group that included both Bergesen (BEA and BEB) and Wilh. Wilhelmsen (WWI and WWIB). Both Eidsiva Rederi (EID) and Benor Tankers (BET) fell more than 20 percent, while Bergesen A (BEA) dropped almost 7 percent.
The high oil price boosted several offshore shares
. Fred. Olsen Energy (FOE), TGS Nopec (TGS) and Stolt Comex Seaways (SCS) all rose more than 10 percent. On the SMB List Northern Offshore
(NOF) climbed 48.7 percent in a month were the company's main shareholder, Hemen Holding, increased its stake in the company to 53 percent. Ocean Rig
(OCR) advanced 23.1 percent, much due to speculations in the market about the company being taken over.
Petroleum Geo-Services (PGS) finished on the opposite end of the ranking with a price fall of 12.6 percent as a result of the company's warning of weaker than expected forth quarter figures. Polar Holding (POL) and Havila Supply (HAV) followed closely as they both dropped about 9 percent in the period.