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Press release N° 165 of 10/23/2008

The MEF announces an auction of the following BOTs for 28 October 2008, with settlement date on 31 October 2008:

  Amount (in million euro) Maturity Days
Six-month 10,500 30.04.2009 181

In addition, the MEF announces for that same day and with settlement on 31 October 2008, the issuance of a second tranche of BOTs (76 days residual maturity) with interest-accrual date on 15 October 2008 and maturity on 15 January 2009, referred to in decrees 7 October 2008 no. 94722 and 10 October 2008 no. 95533, for an amount of 2,500 million euro.

Please note that pursuant to Ministerial Decree dated 12 February 2004, the maximum fee chargeable to clients by brokers on a 76-day BOT is 0.05%.

Please note, in addition, that on 31 October 2008, 9,500 million euro of BOTs will reach maturity.

BOTs are offered via a competitive auction and without indication of the minimum price by the Treasury.

Treasury bonds are subscribable for a minimum amount of onethousand euro.

The prices indicated by dealers participating in auctionsof BOTs, expressed in percentage terms, may vary, in respect of all types of securities, by 0.001% or multiple thereof. Bids without price reference will not be admitted to auction.

Each bid will not be lower than one and a half million euro.

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 single bond - must be submitted to the Banca d'Italia strictly by means of the national Interbanking network, within and no later than 11am of 28 October 2008, in accordance with the procedure and provisions set forth in the issuance decrees.

Please note that should there be a malfunctioning of thesystem, 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 theafore mentioned 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 at the highest price, 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 six-month BOTs, which is set to take place automatically on 29 October 2008.

The amount of the additional tranche is fixed at 10% of the nominal amount offeredin 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 the 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 price 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 29 October 2008.

Outstanding BOTs at 15 October 2008 amounted to 161,181,666 million euro, of which 3,000 million euro are 165-day BOTs, 2,500 million euro are 120-day BOTs, 3,500 million euro are 92-day BOTs, 12,500 million euro are three-month BOTs, 59,525 million euro are six-month BOTs and 80,156,666 millioneuro are one-year BOTs.

Rome 10/23/2008