PRESS RELEASE
20/12/2001

The Dexia group increases its equity interest in its Italian subsidiary Dexia Crediop from 60% to 70% through the acquisition of the 10% held by the Banca Popolare di Bergamo

In February 2000, the Dexia group, the majority shareholder of Dexia Crediop with a 60% equity interest, had signed a partnership agreement with the four main Italian "popular" banks - Banca Popolare di Bergamo, Banca Popolare di Milano, Banca Popolare dell'Emilia Romagna and Banca Popolare di Verona - whereby each of them acquired 10% of the capital of Dexia Crediop.

This agreement concretizes cooperation which allows Dexia Crediop to work with Italian shareholders operating through their retail networks over a major part of the country and enables the "popular" banks to collaborate on the range of products and services they can offer their customers.

In December 2001, Dexia Banque International à Luxembourg acquires the 10% interest in Dexia Crediop held by Banca Popolare di Bergamo. Dexia Banque Internationale à Luxembourg is in charge of Investment Management Services within the Dexia group.

In February 2001, Dexia Crediop, the leading private lender in the local public finance market in Italy with a banking market share of almost 30%, expanded its traditional activities to include asset management and fund administration, thus becoming the focus in Italy for all of the Dexia group's activities.

In this framework, Dexia Fund Services Italia was created in Milan. This new unit is a wholly owned subsidiary of Dexia Crediop specialized in fund administration. It has been operational since the month of November 2001. The company relies, in particular, on the expertise of Dexia Fund Services, a unit which provides services for the Dexia group's investment funds, with more than 700 employees throughout the world.

In addition, the Dexia group is also present in Italy through Dexia SIM, which is specialized in private banking and asset management.