Securities administration - Norway

28.03.2012

Income collection

Market Record dateEx-dateBasis for entitlementStandard interest
calculation rule
Dividend payment
Ex-date +2
business days
Around 2 weeks
before payment date
Record dateNot applicable
Interest payment on corporate bonds
Payment date -15 calendar daysNot applicableRecord dateActual/Actual (CPNSTR) a
Actual/360 (CPNFLR) b
Interest payment on government bonds
Payment date -15 calendar daysNot applicableRecord dateActual/Actual (CPNSTR)

a. This rule applies for CPNSTR (coupons on straight debt).
b. This rule applies for CPNFLR (floating-rate coupons).

Dividends are paid annually, during the period from February to July each year and are decided at AGMs. The date of such meetings is normally the same as the record date for the dividend. The ex-date will always be the first business day following the record date and the record date generally corresponds to the third business day after the issuing company's AGM.

Normally, cum-dividend trades can be settled in the VPS ASA system within six business days after the record date.

Although there is no general relationship between the dates of record/ex-date and the payment date, this period normally varies between two and six weeks.

According to Norwegian law, dividends cannot be paid later than six months after the record date.

Interest is generally paid semi-annually, although annual payments may also occur.

Corporate actions

The most common corporate actions are name changes, rights offers, reinvestment options, exchange offers, purchase offers, stock splits and mergers.

Organisation of AGM/EGMs

The Norwegian Public Limited Companies Act permits foreign custodians to be registered as nominee for the benefit of their clients (upon approval from Financial Supervisory Authority of Norway). Nominee accounts where shares are not registered in the name of the beneficial owner are without voting rights. For voting purposes, Norwegian Law requires that shares in nominee accounts be re-registered into the shareholder's name. Norwegian legislation does not specify how far in advance of the meeting the transfer must take place and therefore the time frame varies from company to company.

Voting from beneficial ownership accounts will be executed for the entire position on the account. Each shareholder is only allowed to vote once and in one direction for the entire stock position. If the shareholder (beneficial owner) does not wish to vote for the entire position on the account, the shares to be voted for are required to be re-registered into separate accounts and split voting is not allowed.

Shareholders may be present at meetings, or be represented at the meeting by providing a Power of Attorney to the Chairman of the company's board. This is not an alternative if votes are in opposition to the proposals of the Board. Written Power of Attorney is not market practice in Norway for Proxy Voting at General Meetings (even though the law requires it). However, companies may require a Power of Attorney for controversial Meetings.