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17 January 2005.

IØ INVESTED IN 15 NEW PROJECTS IN 2004

During 2004 The Investment Fund for Central and Eastern Europe (IØ) invested in 15 new projects in cooperation with Danish companies. Total investments in the new projects amounted to DKK 1.3bn. Of this IØ’s investments amounted to DKK 359m, of which DKK 228m was share capital and DKK 131m was loans.

Compared to 2003 there has been a decrease in number of new projects and in the amount invested in these projects. This is primarily due to the fact that IØ in 2004 ceased to invest in the eight Eastern European countries that became members of the EU in 2004. In stead, IØ has moved its activities further east and south to countries where it is more difficult to operate. Seen in this perspective the number of investments made in 2004 is very satisfactory.

Since 1989 IØ has invested in Central and Eastern European countries in cooperation with Danish companies with the objective of promoting economic growth and development in these countries. As a consequence of the enlargement of the EU in May 2004, it was decided that IØ could no longer invest in the new Eastern European EU countries, and the 15 new investments in 2004 have thus been made in Bulgaria, Romania, Russia, Ukraine and in Serbia and Montenegro.

The 15 new projects, which include production of kitchen cabinet doors, freezers, steel plates, shoes, animal feed and pigs, are expected to create 2,200 new jobs in the countries in question. Furthermore, the projects are expected to create exports from Denmark in the amount of approx. DKK 800m.

Incidentally, IØ’s investment in Serbia and Montenegro is the Fund’s first investment in this country. The investment in question is in a brewery in cooperation with Carlsberg. Total investments amount to more than DKK 450m. IØ participates in the financing with a subscription for shares of 20% of the share capital, equal to DKK 93.3m.

Distributed on partner groups the tendency of many investments in cooperation with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) continued in 2004. Thus, 12 out of the 15 new projects were established in cooperation with Danish companies with less than 300 employees. Up till the end of 2004 approx. 75% of IØ’s project investments had been made with Danish SME partners.

Moreover, in 2004 IØ provided additional financing of DKK 177m to six existing projects – of which DKK 131m was share capital and DKK 46m was loans.

IØ thus invested a total of DKK 536m in Central and Eastern Europe in 2004.

IØ expects to realise a profit of approximately DKK 90m in 2004, compared to a profit of DKK 105m in 2003.

For further information, please contact

Sven Riskær, Managing Director Tel.: +45 33 63 75 00

Frank Norman Larsen, Deputy Managing Director

17 January 2005