ETF-Exchange Traded Funds:
in July new record number of contracts (+233% on July 2004)
and record volume of assets managed (2.6 billion Euro).
Borsa Italiana confirms its leadership,
ahead of Deutsche Börse, Euronext and Swiss Exchange

In July, the ETF market of Borsa Italiana achieved new records, confirming the positive trend that started at the beginning of the year.

Trades on the 24 listed ETFs registered a record daily average of 1,403 contracts, an increase of 38.7% on June 2005 and 233% on July 2004. On July 7th, a historical record of 3,684 contracts were traded in just one session. The value of the negotiations also continues to grow; last month it was worth 30.6 million Euro, with an increase of 6.6% on June 2005 and 155% on July 2004.

Overall, 152,194 contracts were traded from the beginning of the year to the end of July, for a value of 4.4 billion Euro. The assets under management deposited with Monte Titoli reached a new historical high of 2.6 billion Euro. Deposits were made in the first months of the year for 1.6 billion Euro, with a 200% increase compared to the same period of 2004.

The average size of contracts settled to around 22,000 Euro, evidence that retail investors are operating in this market. In July 2005, the most traded ETF by number of contracts (4,267) was iShares FTSE/Xinhua China 25, an ETF consisting of 25 Chinese shares traded at the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, while the Lyxor ETF S&P/MIB was the most traded ETF by value (over 111 million Euro).

At the international level, the ETF sector of Borsa Italiana was confirmed as the most dynamic in Europe, with a better than 30% share of the continental market. According to the official surveys by FESE, the Federation of European Stock Exchanges, in July 2005, Borsa Italiana with 29,468 contracts exchanged on its electronic systems exceeded once again the volumes achieved by Deutsche Börse (20,722), Euronext (13,683) and Swiss Exchange (6,342), confirming its leadership on the Old Continent.

ETFs ‘debuted’ on the Italian market in September 2002 with the listing of the first three instruments. Today, 24 ETFs are listed in Borsa Italiana and 4 others were admitted to negotiations on August 2nd of this year.

And the sector continues to grow. A comparison with 2003, during which 54,219 contracts were traded overall for a value of 1.4 billion Euro, shows that these values have more than trebled in just the first seven months of 2005.

Furthermore, the geographical and sectorial scope offered by the listed ETFs has also expanded. In addition to the Italian stock market and the main European and US share indexes, ETFs cover areas such as China and Japan, some specific sectors like mid and small cap in the Euro zone, the US technology market, the European corporate bond market and Government securities of the Eurozone.

The ETF is a Fund/SICAV traded on the Stock Exchange like a security, characterised by ‘passive management’. It allows one to take a position on an entire index in real time with just one purchase or selling transaction. The liquidity of this instrument is ensured by the presence of a specialist who has continuous listing obligations. The minimum trading lot is 1 share.

The dividends collected by the ETF for the shares held within its assets can be periodically distributed to the investors or steadily capitalised in the assets of the ETF itself. The ETFs listed in Borsa Italiana are subject to the same taxation regime as ‘harmonised’ foreign OICR (Funds/SICAV).

Milan, 10 August 2005

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