UniCredit, Allianz to swap Croatian units' stakes

MILAN, Sept 30 (Reuters) - Italian bank UniCredit <CRDI.MI> said on Friday it had signed with insurance partner Allianz (ALVG.DE) an accord that would see them effectively swap their respective direct and indirect stakes in Croatian units.

Under the accord UniCredit will purchase Allianz's 11.72% stake in Croatian bank Zagrebačka Banka (ZBB.ZA), which is part of the UniCredit group.

Allianz Holding in turn will acquire the 16.84% stake held by Zagrebačka in Croatian insurer Allianz Hrvatska.

UniCredit, which will ends up owning 96.2% of Zagrebačka, said it was not considering squeezing out minority shareholders or delisting.

UniCredit said it was reinforcing its position in the Croatian banking market in light of the country's good growth prospects and upcoming euro area membership.

"Both UniCredit and Allianz remain committed to the attractive bancassurance market in Croatia," it said.

Allianz is a leading UniCredit shareholder with a 3.4% stake.

Under new CEO Andrea Orcel, UniCredit has strengthened its ties with Allianz by renewing their partnership agreements in Italy and Germany and pursuing closer technological integration.

Reporting by Valentina Za; editing by Gianluca Semeraro and Jason Neely

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.