MILAN Oct 12 Italy's UniCredit said
on Wednesday it was placing a 20 percent stake in its online
broker unit FinecoBank with institutional investors as
it seeks to bolster its financial strength.
In July Italy's biggest bank by assets launched a strategic
in-depth review under its new chief executive Jean-Pierre
Mustier to boost capital and improve profitability.
At current market prices the sale of a 20 percent stake in
Fineco would raise just under 600 million euros ($672 million).
UniCredit in July sold a 10 percent stake in Fineco at 5.40
euros per share, netting 328 million euros, but the online
broker's stock has dropped since then.
It closed at 4.7880 euros on Wednesday.
UniCredit said in a statement that after the placement the
bank would continue to control and consolidate Fineco with a
stake of about 35 percent.
It said it had agreed a 360 day lockup period on the Fineco
shares it will hold after the placement, adding it would not
sell any further shares in Fineco during the lockup period
without the consent of UBS on behalf of the joint bookrunners.
($1 = 0.8928 euros)
(Reporting by Stephen Jewkes)