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Unicredit: after the flop of negotiations with Mps, now points to the Russian Otkritie

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The end of negotiations with the Treasury for the acquisition of MPS it does not reduce Unicredit’s desire for shopping. The Milanese bank, according to rumors reported by Bloomberg, would have set its sights on Otkritie Bank, among the ten largest in Russia, with $ 44 billion in assets, and could enter the data room later in the week and then decide whether or not to bid.

Otkritie was nationalized in 2017 following a bailout caused by the excessive amount of non-performing loans.

No confirmation came from the parties involved. However, rumors about a possible acquisition do not convince the market, which punish the stock, favoring profit taking (-3% mid-session).

Despite Gae Aulenti’s interest in the East runs counter to the latest moves by foreign institutions, which in recent years have significantly lightened their exposure in the country in Russia following the European and American sanctions, Gae Aulenti could aim for on the bank to increase the presence in a country considered strategic, incorporating an institution that has more than 500 branches throughout the country.

UniCredit, which has more than 4,000 employees in Russia, generated € 384 million in revenues in the country in the first 9 months of last year. Otkritie is the seventh largest Russian bank, with over 3.3 trillion rubles ($ 44 billion) in assets, according to Banki.ru.

Unicredit, analysts cautious about a possible transaction

Not only the market, but also analysts show a cautious attitude towards an expansion of the Italian bank in Russia.

“Any agreement to expand UniCredit’s presence in Russia through the acquisition of Otkritie would be met with caution and skepticism by investors due to the complicated political situation and the size of the potential transaction,” analysts said. Jefferies International Ltd.

The experts of Equity believe that “a transaction of this type is characterized by a non-negligible execution risk (although partially mitigated by the fact that Unicredit is already present in the country), in addition to significantly increase exposure to a country with a high geopolitical risk “.

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