MILAN, May 15 (Reuters) - UniCredit said on Thursday it would proceed to cancel 10.1 billion euros ($13.85 billion) in state-guaranteed bonds issued by the Italian bank at the height of the euro zone crisis, in a further sign of its improved funding situation.
At the peak of the crisis, Italy had offered to guarantee bank bonds so that lenders could use them as collateral to borrow from the European Central Bank at two extraordinary liquidity tenders in late 2011 and early 2012.
As market tensions eased Italian banks have returned to borrow from international investors and have been repaying longer-term ECB funds ahead of the maturity of the two three-year operations.
UniCredit said in a statement it would cancel five state-backed bonds maturing between 2015 and 2017 on May 19, after having received the necessary authorizations. ($1 = 0.7294 Euros) (Reporting by Valentina Za, editing by Stephen Jewkes)