Milano, 04 January 2006

Banca Intesa - after the acquisition of 35.03% of  the voting share capital of UPI Banka, Sarajevo, in the wake of the receipt of required regulatory authorisations in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in Italy - has launched today the agreed takeover bid for the remaining 64.97% of UPI Banka’s voting share capital.

Banca Intesa’s bid is carried out at the price of €202 for each share (KM 397.07) for a maximum consideration of approximately €30.1 million, according to the share purchase agreement signed on 26th September 2005 which envisages a maximum consideration of approximately €46.2 million for 100% of the share capital of UPI Banka. In compliance with local stock exchange regulations, the bid will remain open for 45 calendar days. The finalisation of the transaction is expected to take place by the end of this February.

UPI Banka is the fifth largest bank in Bosnia and Herzegovina in terms of total assets. As at 30th September 2005, it had €223 million of assets, €179 million of customer deposits, €102 million of customers loans and €18.5 million of shareholders’ equity. For the nine months ended 30th September 2005, its net income amounted to approximately €1.4 million. UPI Banka has a network of 16 branches serving approximately 45,000 clients.

With this transaction Banca Intesa - in line with the selective acquisition strategy confirmed in the 2005-2007 Business Plan - aims at strengthening its presence in Central-Eastern Europe where the Group is already operational with Croatia’s second largest bank Privredna Banka Zagreb (PBZ), Slovakia’s second largest bank Vseobecna Uverova Banka (VUB), Serbia and Montenegro’s second largest bank Banca Intesa Beograd (formerly Delta Banka) and Hungary’s fourth largest bank Central-European International Bank (CIB). Moreover, Gruppo Intesa is operational also in the Russian Federation through KMB, a leading bank in lending and leasing to small enterprises, ZAO Banca Intesa, the only Italian bank with an operating licence in Russia set up at the end of 2003, and its Moscow representative office. The Group is also present in the Czech Republic through a VUB branch, in Slovenia through its Italian subsidiary Banca Popolare FriulAdria’s operations and in Poland with its Warsaw representative office.

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