March 11, 2020 Read More →

Price crash makes renewable developer Ørsted most valuable Nordic company, topping oil-driven Equinor


The oil price crash has led to Danish offshore wind developer Ørsted overtaking Norwegian oil major Equinor as the most valuable energy company in the Nordics, highlighting the appeal to investors of renewables over fossil fuels.

Shares in Equinor slid nearly 18% on Monday as crude prices plunged 25% after top producers Saudi Arabia and Russia began a price war that threatens to swamp global oil markets with supply.

At around 09:00 GMT on Tuesday, Equinor’s market value stood at $42 billion, while Ørsted was valued at $45 billion, according to share information on the companies’ websites, the first time Ørsted has overtaken the Norwegian company.

The drop in oil prices on Monday was the biggest one-day percentage drop since Jan. 17, 1991 at the outset of the first Gulf War, and for investors highlighted the risk of investing in oil companies. As well as volatile crude prices, oil producers have also been hit by a global shift away from heavily polluting fossil fuels.

Ørsted, formerly named DONG Energy, has seen its shares gain more than 40% over the past year, while shares in Equinor have fallen by around the same margin. Ørsted has been rebranding itself as a ‘renewable major’ after it sold its oil and gas business in 2017, courting investors interested in green investments which have seen a boost thanks to policies to protect the environment.

“All investors look at Ørsted and say: Here we buy into the future and when they look at the oil companies, including Equinor, they buy into the past,” said head of equity research at Sydbank Jacob Pedersen.

[Stine Jacobsen, Nerijus Adomaitis]

More: Oil crash makes Danish wind power firm the Nordics’ biggest energy company

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