UniCredit says hard to say how Alitalia talks will end

ROME Tue May 13, 2014 11:04am EDT

UniCredit Bank headquarters is pictured in Milan March 11, 2014. REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo

UniCredit Bank headquarters is pictured in Milan March 11, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Alessandro Garofalo

ROME (Reuters) - The chief executive of Italy's top lender Unicredit (CRDI.MI) said on Tuesday it was hard to say how talks between Alitalia and Gulf-based airline Etihad would conclude.

"The discussions are still under way, it's difficult to say how they will end," Federico Ghizzoni, whose bank is one of Alitalia's main creditors, told a shareholder meeting in Rome.

"We need to see whether with a serious industrial plan, like the one by Etihad, it will be possible to revamp Alitalia."

Alitalia and its creditors are looking to finalize a proposal aimed at persuading Etihad to invest in the loss-making Italian carrier.

But talks have stalled on the restructuring of Alitalia's debt, with sources saying Etihad wants a big chunk of the Italian airline's debt to be forgiven.

(Reporting by Stefano Bernabei, editing by Silvia Aloisi)

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