Unione di Banche Italiane SpA is considering increasing its stakes in two units as other investors seek to sell out.
Italy’s fifth-biggest bank will start a process to review the possible purchase from Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Cuneo of the remaining 24.9 percent stake in Banca Regionale Europea it doesn’t own, the Bergamo-based lender said in a statement Wednesday. The bank may also buy a 16.2 percent of Banca Popolare Commercio Industria from Fondazione Banca del Monte di Lombardia, a unit it controls with a 75 percent holding.
The board will review the feasibility of a purchase after the requests made by the two foundations, UBI said in the statement.
Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Cuneo, which owns a 2.3 percent stake in UBI, may sell the stake to raise its holding in UBI up to 6 percent, Corriere della Sera reported Oct. 29.
Chief Executive Officer Victor Massiah is reviewing strategic options amid mergers that will probably involve Italy’s cooperative lenders, or popolari banks. The bank completed a process to transform itself into a joint stock company in October to comply with an Italian law requiring the 10 biggest popolari to change their governance within two years.
UBI said third-quarter profit declined 14 percent to 37.6 million euros on lower revenue. The bank’s common equity Tier 1 ratio at the end of Sept. stood at 12.6 percent.