UniCredit completes Pekao stake sale for 890 million euros

MILAN/WARSAW Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:36pm EST

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MILAN/WARSAW (Reuters) - Italy's UniCredit (CRDI.MI) said it had raised around 890 million euros ($1.21 billion) from the sale of a 9.1 percent stake in Poland's No. 2 bank Pekao PEO.WA on Wednesday, confirming what sources had told Reuters.

Italy's biggest bank in terms of assets said in a statement the Pekao shares had been priced at a 4 percent discount to the average price of the last three months at 156 zlotys per share.

Earlier on Wednesday, market sources said UniCredit had closed the books on the sale of the stake at 156 zlotys per share.

The sale came a week after Poland successfully sold a 5.24 billion-zloty stake in Pekao's larger rival PKO BP PKO.WA in a similar accelerated bookbuilding process.

UniCredit, which sees Poland as a strategic market, said the capital gain from the sale was about 135 million euros.

The bank, headed by Chief Executive Federico Ghizzoni, said it continued to hold a 50.1 percent stake in its Polish unit and remained fully committed to the bank.

"UniCredit is not envisaging any sales of additional shares of Pekao following the completion of the placement," it said.

Ghizzoni said on Tuesday he expected the sale of as much as 9.1 percent of Pekao to boost the bank's Basel III Core Tier 1 by about 10 to 13 basis points.

In November the bank said its Core Tier 1 ratio was 9.3 percent, higher than the end-2012 previous target of 9.1 percent.

(Reporting by Adrian Krajewski and Pawel Bernat in Warsaw and Stephen Jewkes in Milan; Editing by Greg Mahlich and Richard Chang)

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