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Stora Enso Signs Loan Agreement with International Financing Corporation

Press release from the issuing company

HELSINKI, Finland, June 10 -- Stora Enso today announced that Stora Enso today signed a loan agreement with International Financing Corporation (IFC). The package includes a USD 50 million Tranche A IFC facility and USD 25 million Tranche B co-financing facility, for which Nordea Bank is the lead arranger. The loan will be used to finance Stora Enso's current activities and future investments in China. Stora Enso's current projects in China include further development of eucalyptus plantations in Guangxi province in southern China, and investment to expand the product range and increase the capacity of Suzhou Mill as announced in February 2004. As part of Stora Enso's emerging markets strategy, China has been identified as one of Stora Enso's growth areas. "Our aim is to increase the Company's profitability through targeted investments in the fast-growing Chinese market," comments Markku Pentikainen, head of Stora Enso Asia Pacific. Stora Enso has set up a sustainability action plan for the plantations in Guangxi addressing environmental and social issues. "A sustainably managed fibre base will be a strong foundation for Stora Enso's industrial operations in China. We also hope that Stora Enso will be seen as a good example of how sustainability can be implemented in plantation and mill operations in China," says Pentikainen. "We are pleased to note that investors such as IFC appreciate our sustainability approach in both forestry operations and paper production. IFC sets a good example for other investors in the region through its emphasis on socially responsible investment."