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Ministry of Economy and FinanceISSUE OF CTZs

Press Release N° 195 of 12/22/2008

The MEF announces the issue of the following zero-coupon treasury bonds (CTZ), to be auctioned on 29 December 2008 and settled on 2 January 2009:

- 24-month CTZs:

start date: 30 September 2008; seventh tranche

maturity date: 30 September 2010

nominal amount of issue: 2,500 million euro

The bonds mentioned above can be subscribed in minimum lots of one-thousand euro; the issue takes place through the uniform-price (marginal) 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.

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

The dealers mentioned 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 up to an amount corresponding to not less than 500,000 euro of the 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 same amount.

Bid prices must be stated to a minimum amount of one-thousandth euro; any variations thereof will be rounded upwards.

Bids must be submitted to the Bank of Italy - by 11 am of the day set down below - exclusively by electronic means through the National Interbanking Network in compliance with the technical procedures, established by the Bank of Italy itself, which dealers are familiar with.

On the day that auction operations are finalised, the treasury certificates 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 marginal price, allocation will be on a pro-quota basis, with rounding off as required.

The allotment price and the exclusion price will be communicated through a press release that will also provide information concerning the amounts allocated to "specialists" during the last three auctions.

Dealers participating in the auction will arrange for the assignment to subscribers of the allocated bonds, without charging any additional fee over the allotment price.

The bonds allocated by dealers will be settled at the allotment price.

As a charge for collecting the bids from the public, dealers are entitled to a commission equivalent to 0.20% of the face value of the assigned certificates.

The public can reserve bonds on the day indicated below through the categories of dealers mentioned earlier; intermediaries can demand a down payment of the nominal sum reserved as a guaranty for the positive outcome of the subscription.

On the settlement date, subscribers will pay the sum corresponding to the assigned certificates on the basis of the allotment price. A receipt will be issued on payment.

The subscription calendar is as follows:

- Public subscription: by 24 December 2009;

- Presentation of bids to auction: by 11 am of 29 December 2008;

- settlement date: January 2, 2009.

"Government bond specialist dealers" are eligible to participate in the supplementary placement that will take place automatically.

The amount of this supplementary tranche is fixed at a maximum sum equivalent to 10% of the nominal amount offered. The "specialists" that did not take part in the issuance auction will not be eligible to participate in the supplementary placement.

The supplementary placement will take place at the allotment price as determined at the auction for the current issue.

The procedures as well as the terms and conditions defining the participation of "specialists" in the supplementary placement are set out in the decree authorising the issue of the related bonds.

Rome 12/22/2008

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