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NORGES STATSBANER AS ("NSB") - proposed reform of the Norwegian railway sector

The Norwegian Ministry of Transport and Communications (the "Ministry of Transport") has today submitted a white paper on a proposed reform of the Norwegian railway sector to Stortinget (the Norwegian parliament) (the "Reform"). In the white paper, the Ministry of Transport proposes a partial liberalisation of the Norwegian railway sector, including inter alia that passenger rail services gradually will be opened for general competition from private sector parties as well as structural changes in this sector to secure equal basis for competition.

The main activities of the NSB Group are currently passenger transport by bus and rail and freight traffic by rail, ownership and development of real estate and transport hub development as well as train maintenance. If the proposed Reform is implemented as outlined by the Ministry of Transport, it is likely to have the following impacts on the operations of the NSB Group:

- It is proposed that competition will be introduced with respect to contracts with the Ministry of

Transport for passenger transport by rail. Today NSB has a purchase agreement with the Ministry of

Transport that expires on 31 December 2017. At the expiration date this agreement will be replaced with a new purchase agreement which will open up for gradual introduction of competition, with the first invitations for tenders tentatively to be announced in 2016/2017.

- It is proposed that the real estate company ROM Eiendom AS, which today is a wholly owned subsidiary of NSB, will be transferred to a new infrastructure company organised directly under the Ministry of Transport.

- It is proposed that the maintenance company Mantena AS, which today is a wholly owned subsidiary of NSB, will be owned directly by the Ministry of Transport.

- It is proposed that rolling stock used for passenger transport by rail which today is owned by NSB will be transferred either to a new infrastructure company or a maintenance company, which will be owned by the Ministry of Transport.

- NSB will remain a 100% state owned company.

NSB will continue as a significant transport company involved in passenger train transport, rail freight transport and Nordic bus operations. However, NSB will not have ownership to any assets that future competitors within the rail passenger services may depend on.

The precise details of how the proposed Reform will be implemented are not yet known. However, the white paper focuses on the importance of avoiding operational problems for NSB as a result of the Reform. It is also underlined that the future NSB Group must have a capital structure that is sufficient to support its activities both in the transition period and in the future organizational structure.

Today NSB does not have any responsibilities in relation to the rail infrastructure, which is currently being managed by Jernbaneverket (the National Rail Administration). The Ministry is also proposing changes to this part of the railway sector inter alia by establishing parts of today's Jernbaneverket as a state enterprise and establishing a new Directorate that will be responsible for regulatory functions.

The white paper emphasizes that it will take long-term and extensive efforts to implement the Reform, but intends to commence implementation as soon as possible. As for necessary amendments of existing laws and regulations, the Ministry of Transport is aiming for a comprehensive proposal for the necessary changes during the first half of 2016.

NSB will inform the market of any significant developments in the Reform process.

For any questions please contact:

Kjell Haukeli, Chief Financial Officer
Telephone: +47 916 53216
E-mail: kjell.haukeli@nsb.no

Published: 12.05.2015, 10:45