The Dutch financial regulatory authorities Authority for Financial Markets ("AFM") and the Dutch Central Bank ("DNB") have issued a prohibition on the naked short selling of shares in financial undertakings traded on Euronext Amsterdam, effective as of today, 22 September 2008. This measure has been introduced with a view to the current exceptional market circumstances and after consultation with foreign supervisory authorities responsible for the supervision on Euronext.

Measures:

  1. All selling orders relating to shares or depositary receipts on shares issued by a financial undertaking traded on Euronext Amsterdam resulting in postponed settlement / delivery must be covered for 100% by the financial instruments that are the subject of such selling orders.
  2. Any transaction or order, or combination of transactions or orders, not falling directly within the terms of the above prohibition, but, when executed, having a similar effect as orders that fall directly within the terms of the above prohibition, must be deemed to fall within the scope of this prohibition.
  3. Every person or entity having a cumulated net economic short position of 0.25% or more of the issued share capital of a financial undertaking traded on Euronext Amsterdam, is being requested to disclose such position to the AFM immediately, but ultimately on the working day following the day (T+1) on which such short position was created.
  4. Market parties are being requested not to engage in the lending of shares or depositary receipts on shares issued by financial undertakings traded on Euronext Amsterdam, unless for the purpose of covering transactions entered into before today, 22 September 2008.

Date and duration:

These measures are effective as of today, 22 September 2008. The above measures have been announced for a period of three months, starting 22 September 2008. Both the contents and the duration of the measures may be revised from time to time. The measures may also may be withdrawn during this three months period.

Scope:

1) The prohibition sees to shares or depositary receipts on shares issued by financial undertakings as defined in the Dutch Act on financial services (Wet op het financieel toezicht, "AFS"). The following undertakings qualify as such:

· Management companies of Investment institutions;

· Investment institutions;

· Depositaries;

· Clearing institutions;

· Financial service providers;

· Financial institutions;

· Credit institutions;

· Insurance companies.

2) The prohibition only relates to shares or depositary receipts on shares of the above mentioned financial undertakings in as far as these are traded via Euronext Amsterdam. Please note that foreign financial regulatory authorities have issued similar measures with respect to the short selling of shares in financial undertakings traded on regulated markets in their own jurisdictions.

The prohibition pertains to all transactions carried out for one's own account and risk or carried out for the account and risk of third parties, with the exception of transactions entered into by intermediaries acting as market maker as defined in the Euronext Rulebook or transactions entered into as counterparty with respect to block trade transactions.

Sanctions:

Without further elaborating on this, AFM and DNB have announced that they will sanction violations of the above measures.