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    Ahold Shareholders Approve Share Issue

    AMSTERDAM, Netherlands - The shareholders of Dutch retailer Ahold on Wednesday gave the company the go-ahead to issue new common shares.

    AMSTERDAM, Netherlands - The shareholders of Dutch retailer Ahold on Wednesday gave the company the go-ahead to issue new common shares.

    The proposal, accepted by holders of 94.7 percent of the shares represented in Wednesday's shareholders meeting, allows Ahold to go ahead with its plan for a 3.0 billion-euro (U.S. $3.5 billion) rights issue.

    The company's shareholders meeting also approved the 2002 annual accounts with a 99.3 percent majority.

    C.F.O. Hannu Ryopponen told the shareholders meeting earlier on Wednesday that the rights issue was expected to cut interest costs by 200 million euros per year from 2004.

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