Independent Equity Research for Nordea Securities' Customers

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN


STOCKHOLM, Sweden, April 7, 2003 (PRIMEZONE) -- Nordea Securities and Standard & Poor's have signed an agreement giving Nordea (Other OTC:NRDAF) (Other OTC:NRDEF) distribution rights to Standard & Poor's equity research in the Nordic region.

"The agreement with Standard & Poor's will strengthen our own Nordic research product as well as offer our clients access to a highly regarded independent international research product, giving our clients an overall better service," said Frans Lindelow, Head of Nordea Securities. "We aim to constantly improve and add value for our customers and we believe that Standard & Poor's strong independent analysis and their historical track record will be appreciated."

Under a subscription arrangement, Standard & Poor's will provide research on U.S. and European stocks for Nordea Securities, while Nordea Securities will continue to produce its own in-depth research covering Nordic equities. Institutional customers of Nordea Securities will gain direct access to the expertise of Standard & Poor's through the written research products and also through direct contacts, client meetings, telephone conferences and seminars.

Geoff Hawksworth, head of Standard & Poor's equity business in Europe, commented: "This is a landmark deal for Standard & Poor's and for the independent equity research market in general. We expect continued growth in demand over the next few years from both sell-side and buy-side institutions worldwide whose customers are attracted by the quality, breadth and independence of our equity research."


For further information:
Nordea
Frans Lindelow, Head of Nordea Securities, +46 8 407 92 01

Erik Evren, Chief Communication Officer Sweden, +46 8 614 86 11

Standard & Poor's Media Hotline, +44 20 7826 3605
Geoff Hawksworth, Head of Investment Services, Europe, +44 20 7826 8501

Appendix

Nordea Securities

Nordea's investment banking services are offered under the Nordea Securities brand through offices in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. Nordea Securities offers sector-based equity research, equity sales and trading as well as corporate finance. 400 experienced employees service Nordic and international clients, whether they are institutional investors, private clients, brokers, corporations or government bodies.

Nordea Securities is recognised as a leading investment bank in the Nordic region. With a market share of 7%, it was the third largest broker on the Nordic stock exchanges in the first quarter of 2003 and the company ranked second among Nordic M&A advisers for the full year 2002.

Standard & Poor's equity research group Standard & Poor's equity research group consists of 80 analysts in the US, Europe and Asia. It covers around 1,350 stocks worldwide, more than any other independent research house. Standard & Poor's Stock Appreciation Ranking System (STARS), which was first introduced on December 31, 1986, reflects the opinions of Standard & Poor's equity analysts on the price appreciation potential of more than 1,200 U.S. stocks for the next 6-12 month period. According to Investars.com, a leading source of independent data on research quality, a model portfolio consisting of Standard & Poor's equity STARS recommendations was recently recognised as outperforming those of other U.S. equity research firms who analyse more than 500 stocks, over the 12-month period ending December 31, 2002.

Standard & Poor's US 5-STARS Stock Selections increased in value by 885% from STARS' inception on December 31, 1986 through December 31, 2002, compared with growth of 263% for the S&P 500 during the same period, excluding dividends. In addition, stocks ranked as 4- and 5-STARS have, as a group, outperformed the S&P 500 Index during the past 1, 3, 5, 10, and 15-year periods. Stocks ranked as 1-STARS and 2-STARS have, as a group, significantly underperformed the S&P 500 over the past 10 and 15 years.

Standard & Poor's equity and credit analytic services are performed as entirely separate activities in order to preserve the independence of each analytic process. All non-public information received during any analytic process, including credit ratings, is held in confidence. Standard & Poor's analysts do not disclose non-public information outside their specific analytic areas.

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The following files are available for download:

http://www.waymaker.net/bitonline/2003/04/07/20030407BIT00100/wkr0001.doc

http://www.waymaker.net/bitonline/2003/04/07/20030407BIT00100/wkr0002.pdf


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