Bloomberg News

UniCredit Offer Said to Draw Support From Individual Investors

January 24, 2012

Jan. 23 (Bloomberg) -- UniCredit SpA, Italy’s largest bank, has received preliminary indications that individual investors will subscribe to almost all the stock available to them in the 7.5 billion-euro ($9.8 billion) rights offer, said two people briefed on the transaction.

Individual investors have told their banks they want to exercise about 98 percent of the rights linked to their shares, said the people, who declined to be identified because the matter isn’t public. They had until Jan. 20 to sell the rights if they didn’t want to use them and have until Jan. 27 to order the stock. A spokeswoman for UniCredit declined to comment.

Chief Executive Officer Federico Ghizzoni is raising the money to plug a capital shortfall and comply with European Banking Authority targets. Institutional investors including Fondazione CRT, Allianz SE and Carimonte Holding have already said they will subscribe to their rights for 14 percent of the offer, the lender said in a Jan. 4 statement. Aabar Investments PJS, the Abu Dhabi-based sovereign wealth fund, said last week it wants to increase its stake in UniCredit to 6.5 percent.

“Expectations of a massive subscription are boosting the stock,” said Benno Galliker, a trader at Luzerner Kantonalbank in Lucerne, Switzerland. “The capital increase seems to be going pretty well.”

UniCredit rose as much as 13 percent, leading gains in the European Stoxx 600 Banks Index. The stock was up 11 percent at 3.67 euros at 5 p.m. in Milan trading, for a market value of 21.2 billion euros.

--With assistance from Francesca Cinelli and Elisa Martinuzzi in Milan. Editors: Stephen Taylor, Edward Evans.

To contact the reporters on this story: Sonia Sirletti in Milan at ssirletti@bloomberg.net; Zijing Wu in London at zwu17@bloomberg.net; Elisa Martinuzzi in Milan at emartinuzzi@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Frank Connelly at fconnelly@bloomberg.net


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