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Ministry of Economy and FinanceAPPROVAL FOR SUBSCRIPTION OF 1.45 BILLION EUROS IN BONDS ISSUED BY THE BANCO POPOLARE GROUP

Press Release N° 91 of 06/19/2009

Approval for subscription of 1.45 billion euros in bonds issued by the Banco Popolare Group.

15 billion euros in additional credit for businesses and families.

Minister Giulio Tremonti has today approved the subscription of bonds issued by the Banco Popolare Group for 1.45 billion euros, a move which will strengthen the assets of the banks in the Group, thereby increasing the possibility of making loans to families and to businesses.

At the same time, the Managing Director of Banco Popolare, Dott, Pier Francesco Saviotti, together with Treasury Director General Prof. Vittorio Grilli, signed a memorandum of intent, setting out the banking group's commitments.

Banco Popolare undertakes in particular to:

  • increase its lending to SMBs for the next three-year period by an average of 6% a year;
  • apply more favourable conditions to those receiving financial assistance from the Central Guarantee Fund for SMBs, and to make a contribution of 21.75 million euros to the said fund, meaning that at least 200 million in new financing for SMBs will benefit from the State guarantee;

- suspend, for 12 months and without charge, for those who have lost their job and those in receipt of redundancy pay, payments on mortgages taken out for the purchase of the principle residence.

Banco Popolare undertakes to put appropriate advertising in place and to implement the commitments within 6 weeks.

The commitments are to be monitored by the Treasury by way of quarterly reports.

Rome 06/19/2009

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