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Merita Bank Ld (57HN)

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Thursday 09 December, 1999

Merita Bank Ld

Acq of Christiania Shares

Merita Bank Ld/
Nordbanken Holding AB (publ)
3 December 1999


             MERITANORDBANKEN PROLONGS OFFER TO ACQUIRE ALL 
                SHARES IN CHRISTIANIA BANK OG KREDITKASSE

MeritaNordbanken extends the offer period concerning its offer for all shares in
Christiania Bank og Kreditkasse ASA for NOK 44 per share to 22 December 1999 at
17:00. The offer was announced on 20 September 1999 and has subsequently been
extended to 3 December 1999 at 17.00. The board of Christiania Bank og
Kreditkasse has recommended that its shareholders accept the offer as
industrially sound and financially fair.

Commenting on the prolongation of the offer Hans Dalborg, CEI of
MeritaNordbanken, says:

Commenting on the prolongation of the offer Hans Dalborg, CEO of
MeritaNordbanken, says:

- The strategic rationale for MeritaNordbanken to form a Nordic Baltic bank
group including Christiania Bank og Kreditkasse in addition to the current banks
in Finland and Sweden remains strong and has gained widespread acceptance in
Norway as a Nordic alternative in the current restructuring of the financial
services industry.

- MeritaNordbanken welcomes that what is good for customers, the employees and
the shareholders of Christiania Bank og Kreditkasse now seems to become
politically possible.

The background to the prolongation is the report presented by the Finance
Committee that opens for a potential sale of the state-owned shares in
Christiania Bank og Kreditkasse and presents guidelines for the Government and
the Bankinvesteringsfondet. The Stortinget is expected to consider the report
during next week.

The state of Norway is the largest shareholder of Kreditkassen and
MeritaNordbanken is the second largest shareholder with 9.99% of the shares. In
addition, 7,000 shareholders in Christiania Bank og Kreditkasse ASA have
accepted the offer from MeritaNordbanken.


Further information:

Markku Pohjola, Executive Vice President         + 358 9 165 42245
Lars Thalen, Senior Vice President, 
Identity and Communications                      + 46 709 200 665          
Bjorn Westberg, Senior Vice President,
Investor Relations                               + 46 70 590 55 22


MeritaNordbanken, the leading bank group in the Nordic region, provides a broad
spectrum of financial products and services to more than 6.5m private
individuals and 400,000 companies and institutions. The Group's service network
comprises some 800 branch offices in Finland and Sweden, over 1,000 Swedish post
offices and a wide range of effective telephone and Internet banking facilities.
More than a million customers use the Group's electronic banking services.
Household savings under management total almost EUR 45 billion. Outside the
Nordic region, the Group has a presence in 19 countries. The two holding
companies, Merita Plc and Nordbanken Holding AB (publ), are listed in Helsinki
and Stockholm.


                                                                                                   

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