Press release

CREDITO ARTIGIANO: la Borsa ha disposto l'ammissione alla quotazione ufficiale

Milan, June 9 1999 - Through the provision n░ 509 dated June 8 1999, the Italian Stock Exchange provided CREDITO ARTIGIANO S.p.A ordinary shares listing admission. The bank mainly operates in the province of Milan, through 45 agencies, and is present in Rome, Florence and Prato with 14 counters.

Upon grant of the required permits, Credito Artigiano is offering inseparable parcels to the Italian public. Such parcels contain shares that the parent bank Credito Valtellinese is offering, as well as shares and convertible subordinate bonds to be subscribed together with the shares.

CREDITO VALTELLINESE and BANCA COMMERCIALE ITALIANA are co-ordinating the public offering. BANCA COMMERCIALE ITALIANA is also sponsoring the official quotation.

At present, CREDITO VALTELLINESE holds 86% of CREDITO ARTIGIANO capital stock, FONDAZIONE LAMBRIANA of Milan holds 9% and SOCIETA' CATTOLICA DI ASSICURAZIONE 5%.

After the official quotation and the financial instruments circulation, floating securities touching on 33% of the capital stock are expected.

In 1946, the entrepreneur Giuseppe Vismara and the Cardinal of Milan, Idelfonso Schuster, agreed upon Credito Artigiano foundation. Since the origins, the bank has been characterised by a strong interest in its territory. Credito Artigiano preferred to establish personalised relationships with its customers, who were above all families, craftsmen, traders, small and middle-sized enterprises. It paid particular attention to the non-profit organizations.
Credito Artigiano, moreover, was always active in the social field; in particular it was close to art and culture. In fact, it recently contributed to the initiative the Ministry for the Cultural Patrimony and cultural activities undertook, in order to take "The Lady with the Ermine", Leonardo Da Vinci's masterpiece, in Italy.
The exhibition was hosted in the Palazzo del Quirinale, in Rome, in Brera picture gallery, in Milan, and in Palazzo Pitti, in Florence. More than 300,000 people visited it.
Today, the Milan bank operates through its 59 counters that mainly concentrate in the province of Milan, Rome, Florence and Prato. Credito Artigiano is opening four new branches within the end of 1999. The bank development strategies are aimed at increasing the number of counters, improving its technologies, and increasing its range of products, making its staff more efficient and qualified and adopting effective alliance policies.
Since 1995, Credito Artigiano has been a member of Credito Valtellinese banking Group and has been sharing the parent bank principles and guidelines. Its strategic policy led Credito Valtellinese Group to entrust a number of service companies, which operate for all banks belonging to the group, carrying out activities not directly concerned with banking.
In this way, all the group banks can constantly look over their specific markets. As regards its range of products, in order to satisfy the customers' increasing financial and insurance needs, Credito Artigiano has been offering particular forms of saving and insurance-bank. It also established strategic partnerships with the Swiss group Julius Baer and with SocietÓ Cattolica di Assicurazione.
Credito Artigiano always aimed at satisfying the customers' needs, in the framework of a global quality approach. In fact, in 1997, Credito Artigiano was assigned the "Quality Certificate" for the "Credit Distribution and Management", in accordance with the international norm UNI EN ISO 9002. One year later, Credito Artigiano obtained the Certificate for the transfers in the payment system area".
In 1998, Credito Artigiano net profit totalled 16 billion, 50% more than in 1997. The intermediation margin totalled 235 billion (+27.3%), thanks to the interest margin 10.4% increase (from 114.3 to 126.3 billion) and to the considerable increase of its net commissions (50%, 50.5 to 75.7 billion).
In comparison with a direct collection of 3,563 billion (+4.3%), the indirect collection - including saving deposits that saw an increase of 47%, totalling 1,936 billion - totalled 5,500 billion (+25%). Investments totalled 2,286 billion (+14.7%). The unpaid bills/investments ratio touched 2.1%. At the end of 1998, Credito Artigiano property totalled 288 billion, that is a considerably greater result than in 1997 (+ 24.7%).

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