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20 August 2002.

DANISH INVESTMENT FUND OPENS REGIONAL OFFICE IN MOSCOW

More Danish investments in Russia - IØ, the Danish Investment Fund for Central and Eastern Europe is the first West European investment fund with permanent representation in Russia

The national Danish investment fund IØ is the first national investment fund in Western Europe to open a regional office in Moscow. The official opening takes place on 23 August with participation of the Danish Embassy and the Fund’s board of directors and top management.

The regional office in Moscow will assist Danish companies investing in Russia and the rest of the CIS countries. Investments are made in existing companies as well as in the establishment of new companies.

The Danish investment fund IØ already has an office in Warsaw. The opening of an office in Moscow is an indication of the growing interest of Danish companies to invest in Russia. IØ offers venture capital in the form of share capital and loans. IØ has invested in a total of 26 projects in Russia.

IØ anticipates to participate in 25 further project investments in the CIS countries over the next three years, with a total investment amount of USD 500 million, of which the Fund expects to participate with USD 75 million.

The regional office in Moscow will be headed by a Danish Resident Representative, Hans Ploug Olsen, assisted by an Investment Officer Ms. Irena Zatsepina, who speaks Danish and has a Master’s Degree in Business Economics from a Danish University. Hans Ploug Olsen has worked in Moscow and St. Petersburg for the past ten years, where he has been involved in selling meat from Denmark.

“For most Danish companies the future does not imply export to Russia. Currency fluctuations and other factors hold the blame for Russia being less attractive as an export market. Local production or service activities with a touch of Western technology is winning the contest, and therefore Danish companies increasingly wish to invest in production and service companies in Russia”, says Hans Ploug Olsen.

Your editors are invited to the inauguration of the office on 23 August, from 12:30 to 3 p.m.

Hans Ploug Olsen, Head of Office, may be reached by phone +7 095 931 91 25. You are welcome to contact him.

Copenhagen, 20. August 2002

Facts about IØ

The Investment Fund for Central and Eastern Europe (IØ) was established as a legal entity by Act of Parliament, following the changes in Central and Eastern Europe in 1989, and it offers to participate in Danish companies’ investments in this area. IØ has invested in a total of 307 projects in 16 countries.

IØ offers share capital, loans, guarantees and advice.

The project companies are established as joint ventures, with the Danish company, a local partner and IØ forming a new limited liability company. In some cases the Danish company chooses to make the investment without a local partner.

IØ withdraws once the project company is well consolidated, usually after 6-8 years. The funds made available can then be injected into new projects.

Benefits environment and occupational health and safety

Studies have confirmed that the Danish investments generally lead to improvements of occupational health and safety and an increased environmental awareness on part of management and employees. This is due to the fact that by international standards Danish companies have a high environmental standard.

IØ has at its disposal funds from the Danish Ministry of the Environment for business investments leading to significant environmental improvements.