ABB acquires 35% stake in international lender

ABB’s global scope boosts new growth opportunities in open financial markets

Zurich, Switzerland, June 29, 2000 – ABB, the global technology company, said today it has acquired a 35-percent stake in the Swedish Export Credit Corporation (SEK), a leading international lender headquartered in Stockholm. ABB did not disclose the value of the acquisition.

ABB is acquiring its share in SEK from five commercial banks and will own the company together with the Government of Sweden, which will increase its ownership share in SEK from 50 percent to 65 percent as a result of the transaction.

The acquisition creates new opportunities for ABB in structured finance, leasing and other financial services solutions, as well as for SEK, which can benefit from ABB's network and participate in syndications with other banks and export credit institutions.

SEK specializes in long-term export finance and related finance solutions to sectors such as telecommunications, automotive, transportation, energy, and process industries like pulp and paper and petrochemicals. SEK employs some 90 people and has total assets of approximately US$ 20 billion, mostly securities with bank or government guarantees.

ABB President and CEO Göran Lindahl said the acquisition continues ABB’s strategy to expand in financial services. “We already know SEK as an export finance supplier, and its stable returns make it an attractive investment for ABB,” he said. “We also see a great opportunity for SEK to broaden its scope, using our global network and experience. By combining our intellectual capital, we think we can achieve significant growth and value creation.”

SEK has strong credit ratings, AA+/AAA by Standard & Poor’s and Aa2/Aa2 by Moody’s, supported by its key role within the Swedish export credit system, its majority ownership by the Kingdom of Sweden and its low-risk financial fundamentals. SEK’s pre-tax earnings have been stable for several years and amounted to US$ 94 million (SEK 827 million) in 1999.

ABB’s investment supports SEK’s ongoing expansion of its product range and geographic base by providing access to new markets through ABB’s existing global network and long-standing relationship with government institutions and agencies around the world. The two companies will also be able to share expertise in capital market activities, structured finance and insurance, and can share information technology resources in areas like credit risk management and market analysis.

The ABB Group (www.abb.com) serves customers in power transmission and distribution; automation; oil, gas, and petrochemicals; building technologies; and in financial services. With novel IT applications, tailored software solutions, growing eBusiness and a fast-expanding knowledge and service base, ABB is building links to the new economy. The ABB Group employs about 165,000 people in more than 100 countries. (END)

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    • John Fox
      ABB Corporate Communications, Zurich

      Tel: +41 1 317 7371

      Fax: +41 1 317 7958
    • Manfred Ebling
      ABB Investor Relations, Zurich

      Tel: +41 1 317 7266

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