Extending its lead among U.S. mortgage companies looking to expand abroad, Countrywide Credit Industries Inc. is establishing a U.K. operation that will buy and securitize mortgages for sale to investors.

Stanford L. Kurland, president and chief executive officer of Countrywide, said the company has hired an executive who is already working to develop the mortgage loan conduit business, which he expects to be in place sometime in 2001.

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