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Ministry of Economy and FinanceBOTs ISSUE

Press Release N° 54 of 04/03/2009

The MEF announces an auction of 13,500 million euro of BOTs for 8 April 2009, with settlement date on 15 April 2009, consisting of:

Amount (in million euro)

Maturity

Days

Three-month

5,500

15.07.2009

91

Twelve-month

8,000

15.04.2010

365

Please note that on 15 April 2009, BOTs for 13,500 million euro (of which 5,500 million euro at three months and 8,000 million euro at twelve months) will reach maturity.

As previously announced by press release of 30 March 2009, as of this auction, BOTs will be placed with dealers' bids expressed in terms of yield instead of price.

BOTs are offered via a competitive auction. The bonds are subscribable for a minimum of one thousand euros. For each BOT issue, the fiscal price of reference is the weighted average price of the first tranche, calculated on the basis of the corresponding weighted average yield.

Yields indicated by dealers participating in the BOTs auctions, expressed in percentage terms, may vary, in respect of all types of securities, by 0.001% or multiple thereof. Bids without yield reference will not be admitted to auction. Each bid will not be lower than one and a half million euro (1,500,000€).

Dealers set forth in the decrees authorising the issuance of the BOTs are eligible for participation in the auction

In application of the provisions set forth in Sec.II - Title V of Legislative Decree 24 June 1998, no. 213 and related implementation provisions on the dematerialization of Government bonds, BOTs are represented by account registrations entered in favour of the entitled. The Banca d'Italia automatically enters the BOT amounts subscribed at auction and settles them through the clearing and settlement facility for financial instruments, entering the date of settlement as value date. On the basis of allocations, the broker allocatees will credit the related amounts to the subscribers' accounts.

Purchase bids - a maximum of three for each tranche - must be submitted to the Banca d'Italia strictly by means of the national Interbanking network, within and no later than 11am of 8 April 2009, in compliance with the procedure and provisions set forth in the issuance decrees. Please note that should there be a malfunctioning of the system, thereby preventing the transmission of messages on the network, requests for participation in the auction must be sent via fax.

Bids received after the deadline set in the issuance decrees will not be considered. Bids in replacement of previously submitted requests will be taken into consideration only if they arrive by the aforementioned deadline. Requests cannot be withdrawn after the aforementioned deadline.

Should any dealer's bids exceed, including as a whole, the amount offered by the Treasury, they will be taken into consideration starting from the one with the lowest yield, up to the amount offered, unless otherwise provided for in the issuance decrees.

State bond specialists are eligible for participation in the additional placement of one-year BOTs, which is set to take place automatically on 9 April 2009.

The amount of the additional tranche is fixed at 10% of the nominal amount offered in the issuance auction. This percentage is the minimum amount offered in the additional placement, which the Treasury may increase after the closing of the issuance auction to satisfy the demand expressed by dealers. In that event, a specific press release will be published.

Specialists who did not participate in the issuance auction shall not be eligible to participate in the additional placement. Allocation will take place at the weighted average yield set in the issuance auction. The additional placement procedure will follow the provisions set forth in the issuance decree. Specifically, purchase bids must be submitted within and no later than 3:30pm of 9 April 2009.

Outstanding BOTs at 31 March 2009 amounted to 170,196 million euro, of which 3,500 million euro at 106 days, 2,500 million euro at 119 days, 3,500 million euro at 276 days, 14,500 million euro at three months, 64,696 million euro at six months and 81,500 million euro at twelve months.

Rome 04/03/2009

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