Nervous Italians suddenly were desperate not to win the lottery. The problem was that the offering of shares in Telecom Italia was massively over-subscribed – so banks had to draw up the list of ‘lucky’ applicants. But the slump in world share prices meant that that, at one point, every successful applicants would face an instant paper loss of around 500,000 lire on the deal, according to the Guardian newspaper. Now the new owners of the shares are praying that prices recover before their money is banked in a week’s time.
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