ABNH 4Q/02

American Bank Note Holographics, Inc., a world leader in the origination, production and marketing of holograms for security applications, announced financial results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2002. For the year ended December 31, 2002, net income, excluding non-cash charges to goodwill and fixed assets, increased to $1.2 million or $0.06 per share compared to net income of $0.6 million, or $0.03 per share for the year ended December 31, 2001.

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MBNA Marketing

MBNA has indicated it expects to rely less on telemarketing and more on other marketing channels, such as the Internet, to generate new accounts. The issuer says changing consumer attitudes and acceptance of telemarketing and federal and state regulatory initiatives such as do-not-call lists as the reasons for the change. MBNA Marketing Systems currently has 16 telemarketing facilities in 10 states. At the end of 2002, it employed approximately 4,200, mostly part-time. Last year, MBNA added approximately 34% of its new accounts in the USA through telemarketing. For 2002, MBNA added 14.2 million new customers or 12.0 million new accounts. The company also acquired 405 new affinity deals with organizations and renewed more than 1,100 group contracts during the year. (CF Library 1/24/03)

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Providian Segments

Providian said Monday it cut its work force last year from 12,808 to 6,261 employees with no major cut-backs expected this year. The issuer also reported that $17.70 billion of its $20.0 billion in managed outstandings are to customers in the “standard” and “middle market” segments. Providian says these segments are subject to increased risk weightings under the new FFIEC guidance for sub-prime lending programs. The issuer also noted that it modified its loan re-aging practices in February. If a customer makes a partial payment, that qualifies under its standards and applicable regulatory requirements, Providian will re-age the related account from delinquency status to current status. Providian says it will re-age qualifying accounts once in any 12-month period, but not more than twice within 60 months. Providian previously re-aged qualifying accounts no more than once in any 30-month period and not more than twice within 60 months. As a result of the change Providian’s delinquency rate for February dropped from 9.73% to 9.59%.

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Spiegel 10-K Delay

Spiegel, Inc. announced that the filing of its Form 10-K for its fiscal year ended December 28, 2002 (the “2002 Form 10-K”) with the Securities and Exchange Commission has been delayed. KPMG LLP, the company’s outside auditors recently advised the company that they would not be able to provide the company with an audit opinion that would enable the company to file its 2002 Form 10-K in accordance with the SEC’s rules and regulations until they have had an opportunity to review and consider the report.

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GNS DEALS

American Express’ Travel Related Services reported it currently has 77
arrangements in place with banks and other qualified institutions in 77
countries providing for card issuance. The Global Network Services business
authorizes third-party financial institutions to issue American
Express-branded cards that are accepted on the American Express merchant
network. In 2002, AmEx signed eight new GNS partners, including Toyota
Finance Company in Japan, and Samsung Card Company, Ltd. in Korea.
Together, GNS partners launched 40 new products during 2002. Including
cards that AmEx issues directly, the company introduced more than 100 new
proprietary card products in 17 countries during 2002. The new card
products include
“Blue from American Express” in Mexico and Indonesia (bringing the total
number of international “Blue” markets to 18), the “American Express Tiger
Woods Credit Card” in Canada, and co-branded cards with Costco in Puerto
Rico, Alitalia in Italy and Shinsei Bank in Japan. TRS also acquired a
credit card portfolio from AMP Bank in Australia.

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VISA EU

Europeans generated 8.2 billion VISA POS transactions last year with volume of euro 494.1 billion, an increase of 13.3% and 14.3%, respectively. Including cash withdrawals, VISA’s 2002 gross volume in Europe hit euro 775 billion in 11.2 billion transactions, a 14.8% increase. Retail sales using a VISA card now account for almost 9% of personal consumer expenditure in Europe. The number of VISA cards issued in Europe increased 8.8% to 211.7 million, including 34.7 million EMV smart cards. Debit transactions at POS grew to euro 304.8 billion, a 13.8% increase. VISA also noted that e-Commerce sales in the last quarter of 2002 were up over 100%compared to the previous year-end.

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OBERTHUR 2002

Oberthur Card Systems returned to profitability in the second half of last
year. Oberthur says it cut debt by 40% last year, and is now positioned for
increased profitability in 2003. In 2002, all smart card segments kept on
growing in volumes, with 689 million units delivered versus 599 million the
previous year, showing a 15% increase. On a full year basis, Oberthur
delivered 99.1 million smart cards in 2002, an increase of 8.4% over 2001.
However the average selling price dropped by 16.7% in 2002. The payment
market accounted for 54% of Oberthur sales in 2002 (versus 52% in 2001) due
to its strong positions in both the United Kingdom and Benelux smart card
migration programs and in the French banking card renewal program.

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