UniCredit kicks off record $14bn cash call to rebuild capital

This photo taken on February 4, 2016 shows the logo of Italian bank Unicredit in Milan. (AFP)
Updated 06 February 2017
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UniCredit kicks off record $14bn cash call to rebuild capital

MILAN: UniCredit began Italy’s biggest corporate share sale on Monday in an attempt to raise €13 billion ($14 billion) to rebuild the bank’s capital after a balance sheet clean up.
Banks in Italy have been struggling to deal with bad loans left behind by a deep recession, leading to a series of capital raisings and consolidation in the sector as Rome tries to steady confidence in the sector.
UniCredit said last week it will post an €11.8 billion loss for 2016 due to one-off hits stemming mainly from loan writedowns, as it prepares to offload €17.7 billion in bad debts under a restructuring plan outlined in December.
This follows the hiring by Italy’s biggest bank by assets of French investment banker Jean Pierre Mustier as its new chief executive in July, with a brief to address long-standing concerns about UniCredit’s weak capital base. As part of the wider restructuring, UniCredit said on Saturday it had agreed with unions 3,900 lay-offs in Italy as part of its plan to cut 14,000 staff by 2019.
By 1053 GMT shares in UniCredit had fallen 2.4 percent to €12.78, against a 1 percent drop in Italy’s banking sector .
Rights to buy into the cash call, Europe’s largest since 2010, fell 7.5 percent, which a Milan-based trader said was a smaller-than-expected drop. A second trader confirmed both the stock and the rights were holding up well.


Scottish government wins fracking case against energy giant Ineos

Updated 19 June 2018
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Scottish government wins fracking case against energy giant Ineos

  • The devolved government said a moratorium on fracking was in place
  • neos had argued that the ban was imposed unlawfully

EDINBURGH: Scotland’s highest court has ruled in favor of a government ban on fracking which had been challenged by energy giant Ineos, the Scottish government said on Tuesday.
“This decision vindicates the extensive process of research and consultation which the Scottish government has undertaken since 2015,” Scottish business minister Paul Wheelhouse said in a statement. “Our preferred position is not to support unconventional oil and gas extraction in Scotland (fracking), and that position remains unchanged.”
The devolved government said a moratorium on fracking — gas extraction via hydraulic fracturing of the ground — was in place. That meant no local authority could grant planning permission until an impact assessment process had been carried out.
Ineos had argued that the ban was imposed unlawfully, and that it contradicted evidence that shale gas could be produced safely by unconventional methods.
Scotland decided to outlaw fracking in October after a public consultation found overwhelming opposition to it.