The market for covered bonds has been accommodative in the third quarter with continuing demand for covered bonds from our jurisdiction. Spabol did not issue any public benchmarks during the quarter, but we conducted investor presentations in Finland and Germany. Some bonds in a private placement format were issued in the 3rd quarter. Overall growth in the SpareBank 1 banks’ lending activity is positive, but has come down in 2013 compared to previous years.
At the end of the third quarter SpareBank 1 Boligkreditt owned mortgages for NOK 170 bn (approximately EUR 21 bn) and liquid assets for NOK 14 bn (approximately EUR 1.75 bn) against which covered bonds outstanding amounted to NOK 166 bn (approximately EUR 20.7 bn). The increase in mortgage lending at the end of the third quarter vs. 12 months earlier was 7.8%. The mortgage interest margin is currently satisfactory at 150 bps, which is an increase over the previous period 12 months ago.