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Press release N° 194 of 12/22/2008

The MEF announces an auction of BOTs for 29 December 2008, with settlement date on 2 January 2009:

  Amount (in million euro) Maturity Days
Six-Month 10,500 30.06.2009 179

Please note that on 31 December 2008, 13,950 million euro of BOTs will reach maturity (of which, 10,450 million euro are six-month BOTs and 3,500 million euro are 92-day BOTs).

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 one thousand euro.

The prices indicated by dealers participating in auctions for BOTs, expressed in percentage terms, may vary by 0.001% or multiple thereof. Bids without price reference will not be admitted to auction.

Each bid shall 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 implementation of the provisions set forth in Sec.II - Title V of Legislative Decree 24 June 1998, no. 213, on the dematerialization of Government bonds, these state bonds 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, dealing with financial instruments whose value date coincides with that of settlement. On the basis of allocations, the broker allocatees will credit the related amounts to the subscribers' accounts.

Purchase bids - a maximum of three - must be submitted to the Banca d'Italia strictly by means of the national Interbanking network, within and no later than 11am of 29 December 2008, in accordance 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 Requests cannot be withdrawn after the aforementioned deadline.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 at the highest price, up to the amount offered, unless otherwise provided for in the issuance decree.

State Bond Specialists are eligible for participation in the additional placing of six-month BOTs which is set to take place automatically on 30 December 2008.

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 case, 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 30 December 2008.

Outstanding BOTs at 15 December 2008 amounted to 161,702,666 million euro, of which 3,500 million euro are 92-day BOTs, 2,500 million euro are 76-day BOTs, 15,000 million euro are three-month BOTs, 61,546 million euro are six-month BOTs and 79,156,666 million euro are 12-month BOTs.

Rome 12/22/2008