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Ministry of Economy and FinanceISSUE OF CTZs

Press Release N° 131 of 08/21/2008

The MEF announces the issuance of the following zero-coupon treasury bonds, to be auctioned on 26 August 2008 and settled on 29 August 2008:

- 24-month CTZs (zero-coupon treasury bonds):

starting accrual date: 30 April 2008; ninth tranche

maturity date: 30 April 2010

nominal amount of issue: 2,000 million euro

The bonds above-mentioned are subscribable in minimum lots of one-thousand euro; the issue takes place through the uniform-price auction mechanism, without any indication of the minimum price and without considering bids submitted at prices below the "exclusion price." To set the exclusion price, bids submitted at prices exceeding the "maximum accepted price" - as calculated in the issuance decree - will not be considered.

Italian, EU and non EU banks as well as the brokerage companies and EU and non-EU investment businesses referred to in the decrees authorising the issuance of the above-mentioned bonds are eligible to participate in the auction.

The dealers referred to above may bid on their own account or on behalf of third parties.

Each bid submitted must state the relevant offer price. Each dealer may submit up to a maximum of three bids, each at a different price and for a minimum amount of 500,000 euro of nominal capital. Any bid below the minimum amount will not be considered. Each bid must not exceed the issuance amount; any bids in excess of the issuance amount will be admitted only up to that amount.

The prices indicated will vary by a minimum amount of one-thousandth euro; any variations by a different amount will be rounded upwards.

Bids from dealers must be submitted by 11 am of the deadline shown in the calendar below by means of electronic bid sent to the Banca d'Italia via the National Interbanking Network, in compliance with the technical procedures and conditions established by the Banca d'Italia and familiar to dealers.

On the day that auction operations are finalised, the bonds will be allocated at the lowest price among those offered by the remaining allottees.

In the event that not all bids can be accepted at the uniform price, allotment will be on a pro-rata basis, with rounding as required.

The allotment price and the exclusion price shall be announced by way of a press release, which shall also state the amounts allocated to the specialists at the last three auctions.

Dealers participating in the auction shall arrange for the allocated bonds to be assigned to subscribers, without charging any fees on top of the allotment price.

Settlement of the bonds, allocated by the dealers, shall be at the allotment price.

As payment for collecting bids from the public, a commission shall be paid to the said dealers - commensurate with the nominal amount of bonds allocated - equal to 0.20%.

The public will be able to reserve bonds via the above mentioned groups of dealers by the deadline shown in the calendar below; brokers may request a payment on account of the nominal amount reserved as security for completion of subscription.

On settlement date, subscribers shall pay the sum due for the bonds allocated, on the basis of the allotment price. A receipt will be issued on payment.

The calendar for subscriptions is as follows:

- public to reserve by: 25 August 2008;

- submission of bids to auction, by 11am of: 26 August 2008;

- settlement of subscriptions: 29 August 2008.

State bond specialist dealers are eligible to participate in the placing of state bonds that shall take place automatically in addition to the issuance auctions.

The amount of the additional tranche is fixed at a maximum sum equivalent to 10% of the nominal amount offered. Specialists who did not participate in the issuance auction shall not be eligible to participate in the additional placing.

The additional allocation shall be at the allotment price set at the auction for the current issuance.

The procedures and conditions for the participation of specialists in the additional allocations are set out in the decree authorising the issuance of the related bonds.

Rome 08/21/2008

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