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UniCredit launches strategic review, to sell stake in FinecoBank

UniCreditSpA will launch an in-depth review of the group's strategy undernew CEO Jean-PierreMustier to optimize its capital position and boost profitability.

The bank said July 11 that the strategic review of all areasof its operations will have a specific focus on capital optimizationopportunities, further cost cutting and risk reduction as well as cross-sellingacross group entities.

Strategic assets such as German unit , its central andeastern Europe division and its corporate investment bank will be furtherdeveloped to increase cross-selling and synergies whenever possible, UniCreditsaid.

All of the bank's assets will be subject to the review, andany "incremental value-creating opportunities, potentially also viadisposals, will be evaluated," the lender said.

Separately, the bank said it launched a placement ofordinary shares in unit FinecoBank SpA, representing up to 10% of the company'sexisting share capital, via an accelerated bookbuilding to institutionalinvestors.

UniCredit, which currently holds a 65% stake in FinecoBank,will continue to retain a majority shareholding in the unit followingcompletion of the placement.

The capital generated by the placement will be used tofurther strengthen UniCredit's capital ratio and support its continued organicgrowth as well as increase the free float of FinecoBank shares, the lenderadded.

UniCredit agreed to a 90-day lockup period with respect toany remaining FinecoBank shares it will hold following the placement.

UBS Ltd. and UniCredit Bank AG, Milan branch, were appointedjoint book runners for the placement.

Separately, Reuters reported the same day that Mustier saidthe company is working with Banco Santander to find a way to Pioneer Investments andSantander Asset Management, the two banks' fund management arms.