Blackrock has 6.85 pct of Banco Popolare - Consob

MILAN, April 3 Thu Apr 3, 2014 12:53pm EDT

MILAN, April 3 (Reuters) - U.S. fund manager BlackRock , which has bought stakes in several Italian lenders over the past two months, has a 6.851 percent stake in Italian cooperative lender Banco Popolare, Italy's market regulator said on Thursday.

The regulator said in a statement the holding dated back to March 31, the day on which Banco Popolare launched a 1.5 billion euro ($2.06 billion) capital increase.

BlackRock is now the biggest shareholder in Banco Popolare, Monte dei Paschi di Siena and UniCredit. It is also the second biggest investor in Intesa Sanpaolo.

($1 = 0.7291 Euros) (Reporting by Silvia Aloisi, editing by Isla Binnie)

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