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New EuroBenchmark Treasury Bills Market Boosts Liquidity of European Treasury Bills Sector

London, April 5, 2004 – EuroMTS today announced that liquidity has improved markedly across benchmark Treasury bill issues, following the introduction of the EuroBenchmark Treasury Bills Market for French, German, Italian, and Spanish securities with volumes on the market surpassing €500 million in the first two weeks of operation. In addition, the domestic French and Italian Treasury bill markets have particularly benefited, with record turnover of €6.09 and €23.1 billion respectively in March, increases of 25% compared to the previous month.

Participants on the domestic markets are equally enjoying the tighter spreads offered by the EuroBenchmark Treasury Bills Market as these bills are listed in parallel on their respective MTS domestic markets. The benchmark status has permitted spreads to narrow by 1 full basis point, or approximately 25%, since launch. To date, thirteen market makers have committed to provide liquidity, while four market takers have joined the market.

"We are extremely pleased that the European Treasury bills sector has immediately benefited from EuroMTS benchmark status, which increases transparency and promotes turnover," said Gianluca Garbi, chief executive officer of EuroMTS Ltd. "As anticipated, the creation of a better coordinated euro T-bill market, which can be likened to a virtual single European issuer, has increased the liquidity of this market."

Treasury bills from France, Germany, Italy and Spain were initially listed on the EuroBenchmark Market. To qualify for listing bills are required to have an outstanding size of €1 billion or more and to be issued or tapped in the previous 60 days. Three buckets have been defined, including a 3-month bucket (11-13 weeks), a 6-month bucket (24-28 weeks) and a 12-month bucket (47-55 weeks).

Participants may act as European Treasury bill Specialists (quoting all EuroBenchmark Treasury bills), Single Market Treasury bill Specialists (quoting bills of at least one eligible issuer) and as Price Takers (can lift prices, but not insert quotes).