Unipol would sell its 0.3 pct stake in Alitalia if asked - CEO

MILAN Mon May 19, 2014 2:38pm EDT

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MILAN May 19 (Reuters) - Italian insurer Unipol would sell its 0.3 percent stake in Alitalia if it were asked to do so as part of ongoing talks with Abu Dhabi airline Etihad about investing in the Italian carrier, its chief executive said on Monday.

"It is not a large stake. If we were asked to (as part of negotiations with Etihad) we would sell," Carlo Cimbri said on the sidelines of a presentation.

Etihad has been looking into a possible investment in Alitalia, which was kept afloat by a government-engineered 500 million euro ($686 million) rescue package last year, since the beginning of 2014.

The prospect of large job cuts at the Italian airline and its debt of at least 800 million euros have hindered the talks.

($1 = 0.7289 Euros) (Reporting by Gianluca Semeraro, writing by Isla Binnie, editing by David Evans)

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