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Noble Group Collaborates With IBM To Facilitate International Raw Materials Trading With RawMart.com

Three Phases of Development to Provide End-to-End Supply Chain Management Solution to Buyers and Sellers Around the World

Hong Kong - 18 Apr 2000: -- The Noble Group Limited and IBM China/Hong Kong Limited today signed a Memorandum of Understanding to create an online marketplace for raw materials trading. RawMart.com is a new hub of more than 500 products that will link buyers and sellers in the raw materials markets around the world, enabling them to trade online at e-commerce speed. This online infrastructure will help to facilitate secure e-business adoption throughout the entire industry.

RawMart.com enables business-to-business transactions in a wide range of industrial and agricultural materials, from iron to aluminium, from cocoa to fertilizers, and from coal to refined oil products. The organic electronic marketplace will be developed in three phases: match-making service for buyers and sellers upon the launch of the hub in June 2000; business transaction online by end 2000; and an end-to-end supply chain management service will be introduced within 2001. With RawMart.com, buying and selling of raw materials can eventually be conducted in a one-stop location, making international raw materials trading more effective and convenient than ever before.

"Today's announcement marks a milestone in international raw materials trading, leading the entire industry matching into the e-business age," said Michael Mudd, Commercial Director of Noble's Internet Services division.

"RawMart.com is committed to providing an online marketplace for buyers and sellers in the industry. With the support of IBM, we are confident that this innovative e-business solution will revolutionize international raw materials trading. This will help businesses improve purchasing and delivery efficiency, which in turn will boost their productivity and returns."

"In particular, thanks to the combination of the high-speed transaction capability of the RawMart.com software engine, with multiple language support, and IBM's robust hardware and database software, we are confident that RawMart.com's customers will receive the highest level of system availability and service," Mr. Mudd said.

"Online business-to-business application is changing the value proposition of the entire business community, and RawMart.com is a real showcase of how the Internet is transforming business operations, " said Tony Tai, General Manager, IBM China/Hong Kong Limited. "This unique online service has huge business potential as it empowers raw materials buyers and sellers around the world with the most cost-effective and time-saving communications and transaction medium - The Internet."

RawMart.com is being powered by IBM's leading-edge e-business solution. Under the MOU, IBM is providing RS/6000 UNIX servers, WebSphere web application development software suite, and the world's leading relational database DB2. This combination offers the ideal platform for mission critical, scalable and reliable business transactions. Legend Expert System Limited will provide service and support to ensure the successful implementation of RawMart.com's e-business solution.

"IBM is delighted to be the technology provider behind RawMart.com. We will continue working closely with innovative service providers like The Noble Group to offer the practical e-business solutions to businesses around the world and to facilitate the adoption of e-business in the Greater China region," Mr. Tai concluded.

The Noble Group
The Noble Group Limited is a Hong Kong-based, Singapore-listed, worldwide supplier of industrial raw materials and transport resources. The group links producers and consumers, uniquely integrating sourcing, marketing, processing, and transportation. Outside of Asia, Noble Americas trades in coal and coke, fertilisers, cocoa, and oxygenates and refined oil products. Noble Europe's activities include product and service marketing, the supervision of shipping and the cost-effective delivery of product lines. Noble operates a global network of offices. They are located in Beijing, Bombay, Cochin (India), Hong Kong, Johannesburg, Karachi, Kiev, London, Manila, Moscow, Newcastle (Australia), New Delhi, Shanghai, Singapore, Stamford (USA), Taipei, and Tokyo. Noble is listed on the Singapore Exchange Limited, (NOBL). For more information about Noble, please go to http://www.thisisnoble.com

IBM
IBM is the world's largest information technology company, with 80 years of leadership in helping businesses innovate. It played a leading role in driving the three computing "Waves". The first was mainframe computing. The second "Wave" marked the shift of power to the desktop through the development of the PC. IBM has fully embraced the "Third Wave" as an e-business company, connecting people through their computers to colleagues, customers, suppliers, government departments, and a huge virtual world of information, services and entertainment. IBM opened for business in Hong Kong on April 16, 1957, and has been providing IT solution to help Hong Kong's development since then. For more information about IBM Hong Kong, go to http://www.ibm.com/hk

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Contact(s) information

Florence Ma
IBM China/Hong Kong Limited
(852) 2825 0027
maky@hk1.ibm.com

Michael Mudd
Noble Internet Services
(852) 2861 4694
mikem@noblegroup.com.hk

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