December 13, 2016 / 7:07 AM / a year ago

Unicredit to raise 13 bln euros in Italy's biggest share issue

MILAN, Dec 13 (Reuters) - Italy’s largest bank, UniCredit , said on Tuesday it would raise 13 billion euros ($13.83 billion) in the country’s biggest share issue to clean up its balance sheet and boost longer-term profitability.

UniCredit’s move comes at a troubled time for Italian banks and the economy, with the country’s third-largest bank, Monte dei Paschi di Siena, at risk of failure, a new government just installed in Rome and early elections expected next year.

UniCredit plans to launch the issue by June and use the proceeds to help fund the removal of 17.7 billion euros worth of bad debts from its balance sheet, enabling it to boost its profits and also dividend payout by 2019.

$1 = 0.9403 euros Reporting by Valentina Za and Stephen Jewkes; Editing by Mark Bendeich

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