Press release 23 April, 2013

Verdipapirfondenes forening (Norwegian Fund and Asset Management Association) and Norsk Tillitsmann ASA (Norwegian Trustee) have joined forces to establish a new entity to simplify pricing of bonds.

(Oslo, 23 of April 2013) Verdipapirfondenes forening (VFF) and Norsk Tillitsmann ASA (NTM) establish the company Nordic Bond Pricing AS in order to provide independent pricing of bonds.

Today, market players in need of pricing of bonds, e.g. asset managers and pension funds, individually price bonds that are not traded on a daily basis. This is a complicated and expensive process.

- Norsk Tillitsmann ASA has twenty years of experience in the Norwegian fixed income market, and we are certain that the establishment of an independent bond pricing entity represents an important step forward in order to make this market even more efficient and professional, says CEO Ragnar Sjoner. He adds that this type of service already exists in other countries.

The Norwegian bond market has expanded rapidly over the past years, and more specifically, the Norwegian corporate bond market is without doubt the most advanced in the Nordic countries. Further growth is expected, as tougher capital requirements are imposed on banks, which in turn will lead capital seeking companies toward the bond market as an alternative source of funding.

- The establishment of Nordic Bond Pricing will simplify the everyday business for our members. The new entity will also represent a reliable source of information for investors in the fixed income market, says CEO Lasse Ruud in VFF.

Folketrygdfondet and other major pension funds have become associated members of VFF in order to support the establishment of Nordic Bond Pricing. Ruud adds that other investors not being members of VFF will enjoy the services provided by Nordic Bond Pricing.

Today, VFF publishes bond prices on a weekly basis based on input from investment banks. This has become a market standard, which is to be further developed by Nordic Bond Pricing.

Based on information provided by players in the market, coupled with advanced financial modeling, Nordic Bond Pricing will publish prices for all bonds in the portfolio. Firstly, this will be carried out on a weekly basis, aiming at providing prices on a daily basis at a later stage. The company will publish prices at end-of-business, the company will not enable any trading of bonds nor offer price quotations during the day. The company has an ambition to develop bond indices based on the pricing of bonds.

Nordic Bond Pricing AS has been formally established, and is owned 50/50 by NTM and VFF. The company structure will ensure full independence from the shareholders in the pricing of bonds. A managing director will be recruited, as well as two analysts. Chairman of the board, Jan Pollestad, has more than 25 years of experience in the Norwegian fixed income market.

Lasse Ruud, CEO (VFF), m: 908 99 316 
Ragnar Sjoner, CEO (NT), m: 928 21 998
Jan Pollestad, chairman, m: 917 13 823