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Record Preference Share Issue By ASB Capital No. 2

Media Release
21 December 2004

Record Preference Share Issue By ASB Capital No. 2 Limited

Statement made by Peter Hall, Chairman of ASB Capital No. 2 Limited

ASB Capital No. 2 Limited (ASB Capital No.2), a member of the Commonwealth Bank Group, has closed its public offer of Perpetual Preference Shares. The offer has been oversubscribed and in raising $350 million becomes the largest New Zealand preference share offer on record.

ASB Capital No. 2 is very pleased to welcome a significant number of new shareholders who did not participate in the original ASB Capital offer in 2002.

The level of interest in the new offer reflected the quality of the instrument, the strength of related company ASB Bank’s core businesses and distribution platforms, and the success of the original ASB Capital offer in 2002. The offer was also well timed to take advantage of a shortage of similar products in the marketplace.

ASB Capital No.2 should commence trading on December 23 with the initial dividend rate, for the period to 15 May 2005, set at 7.65% per annum, payable quarterly. The quarterly dividends are expected to be fully imputed. The dividend rate will reset annually at a spread of 1.0% over the benchmark swap rate.

This offer is part of a regular capital raising programme and proceeds of the offer will be used to fund the ongoing growth of the ASB Group of companies.

ASB Capital No. 2 Perpetual Preference Shares have a credit rating of A- from Standard and Poor’s.

ASB Bank Limited was the Lead Manager for the offer and ASB Securities the Organising Participant.

- Ends –

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