UniCredit does not need another capital hike-press

MILAN Thu Oct 18, 2012 1:58am EDT

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MILAN Oct 18 (Reuters) - UniCredit does not need another capital increase as its core Tier 1 ratio is already above 10 percent, the chief executive of Italy's largest bank by assets said in a newspaper interview published on Thursday.

Asked by Rome-based daily Il Messaggero whether the bank may need another cash call after a 7.5 billion-euro rights issue earlier this year, UniCredit CEO Federico Ghizzoni said: "False. We are above 10 percent of Core Tier 1 and among Europe's best capitalised banks."

Ghizzoni also said a spin-off of the bank's Italian activities, an option favoured by UniCredit Chairman Giuseppe Vita, was "not on the agenda".

In any case such a spin-off would have no impact on UniCredit's employees, he said.

He said a European banking union was necessary as soon as possible and that he thought the European Central Bank would take on supervision of systemic banks already in 2013.

On Mediobanca, where UniCredit is the biggest single shareholder, Ghizzoni said the investment bank's management would be judged on the basis of its new strategic plan.

"If the plan that they will present will be judged credible then the managers will be judged credible too," he said.

Ghizzoni reiterated that UniCredit "would not hesitate one minute" to defend Mediobanca if it came under attack on the market.

(Reporting By Silvia Aloisi)

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