Glitnir

Glitnir

December 22, 2006 17:54 ET

Glitnir's Rating Unaffected by S&P's Sovereign Downgrade of Iceland See Bulletin From S&P below:

REYKJAVIK, ICELAND and OSLO, NORWAY--(CCNMatthews - December 22, 2006) - Glitnir's rating is unaffected by S&P's sovereign downgrade of Iceland. S&P states in a release today, that Glitnir's rating is not threatened by Republic of Iceland downgrade. Glitnir was rated by S&P in March 2006, as the first and only Icelandic Bank to date. Glitnir, the Nordic financial group, with Iceland-and Norway as home markets is a global niche bank in the seafood/food, sustainable energy and offshore supply industries.

Bjarni Armannsson, CEO of Glitnir commented; "We take encouragement and pride from S&P's decision to leave Glitnir Bank's rating unchanged in the light of the sovereign downgrade - a clear vote of confidence in the Bank's business model striving for continuous diversification and profitable growth in selected areas. Our strategy of becoming less and less affected by the economic cycle in Iceland is bearing fruit , says Bjarni Armannsson, CEO of Glitnir."

Armannsson comments: " We don't see the downgrade of the sovreign as a fundamental re-assessment of the economy's prospects, but rather as a clear signal that more realignment between fiscal and monitary policy is needed in Iceland and a tighter fiscal policy is needed to put the economy in a more balanced state." Copy of the S&P Research Bulletin on Glitnir as of December 22, 2006:



RESEARCH
Bulletin:
Glitnir Bank Ratings Unaffected By Republic of Iceland Downgrade
Publication date: 22-Dec-2006
Primary Credit Analyst: Martin Noreus, Stockholm
(46) 8-440-5933;
martin_noreus@standardandpoors.com
Secondary Credit Analysts:
Miguel Pintado, Stockholm
(46) 8-440-5904;
miguel_pintado@standardandpoors.com
Peter Dutton, London
(44) 20-7176-7208;
peter_dutton@standardandpoors.com


STOCKHOLM (Standard & Poor's) Dec. 22, 2006--Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said today that its ratings and outlook on Iceland-based Glitnir Bank (A-/Stable/A-2) remain unchanged following the lowering of the long- and short-term foreign and local currency ratings on the Republic of Iceland (foreign currency A+/Stable/A- 1; local currency AA/Stable/A-1+). (For further information on the sovereign rating action, please refer to today's research udate "Republic of Iceland Cut To FC 'A+/A-1', LC 'AA/A-1+' On Unbalanced Policy Mix; Outlook Stable," published on RatingsDirect, the real-time Web-based source for Standard & Poor's credit ratings, research, and risk analysis, at www.ratingsdirect.com) The factors behind today's sovereign downgrade are already taken into account in the ratings on Glitnir Bank. In addition, the ratings on Glitnir Bank are underpinned by its strong domestic franchise, as well as by geographic diversification through its growing presence in Norway and, since May 2006, Sweden. The ratings also recognize the bank's consistently high profitability and current good asset quality. Given the increased geographical and product diversification of the group, the ratings reflect our expectation that Glitnir Bank will maintain profitability at comfortable levels, even in a less favorable economic environment in Iceland, with higher loan losses and lower financial gains. A negative rating action could follow, however, if a further macroeconomic deterioration in Iceland were to lead to a significant deterioration in the bank's asset quality.

Additional Contact: Financial Institutions Ratings Europe; FIG_Europe@standardandpoors.com

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About Glitnir

The financial group Glitnir offers universal banking and is a leading niche player in three global segments; seafood/food, sustainable energy, and offshore supply vessels. Glitnir consider Iceland and Norway as home markets. Services include retail, corporate and investment banking, stock trade and capital management. Glitnir is the sole owner of a bank in Luxembourg (Glitnir Bank Luxembourg S.A) and banks and financial services companies in Norway (BNbank and Glitnir bank, Glitnir Securities and Glitnir Kapitalforvaltning, the factoring company Glitnir Factoring, and 50.1 percent of Union Gruppen. Glitnir's subsidiary BNbank in Norway recently acquired 45 per cent of the shares in Norsk Privatokonomi ASA, an independent financial advisory company with 12 branches in key areas of Norway). In Sweden, Glitnir owns the leading Swedish brokerage firm Fischer Partners. Glitnir operates branches in London and Copenhagen and representative offices in Halifax, Canada and in Shanghai, China. Glitnir is listed on the Icelandic Stock Exchange. Glitnir recently announced strong profits for the first nine months of 2006, with a return on equity after tax of 41.9 percent. For more information go to: www.glitnirbank.com (English), www.glitnir.is (Icelandic) or www.glitnir.no (Norwegian).

Copyright c Hugin ASA 2006. All rights reserved.

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