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Unicredit may consider re-listing stake in German HVB: report

Italy's largest bank UniCredit is pictured in downtown Milan September 12, 2013. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini
Italy's largest bank UniCredit is pictured in downtown Milan September 12, 2013. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Unicredit may consider listing a minority stake in its German unit, HVB, should upcoming stress tests require Italy's largest bank by assets to raise more capital, magazine Der Spiegel reported, without citing sources.

HVB said on Sunday it had no knowledge of any planned listing of the bank, while Unicredit declined to comment.

The stake would be re-listed on the stock exchange, said the magazine. Unicredit took over its Munich-based competitor in 2005 and delisted the company's shares in 2008.

Selling between 15 and 25 percent of HVB's shares and issuing new shares would help Unicredit finance a possible shortage of capital after a planned stress test of the bank's balance sheet by the European Central Bank, Der Spiegel said.

Investment banks are therefore lobbying Unicredit's management and Italian banking foundations, which hold 12 percent of the bank, for the share sale, the magazine reported.

The central bank of the 17-member euro zone is to conduct an asset quality review, followed by stress tests, to ensure that banks enter common supervision in good health.

ECB President Mario Draghi said on October 2 he expected no disasters to come to light in the financial health checks on the region's banks, which would be rigorous.

(Reporting by Peter Dinkloh, Alexander Huebner and Francesca Landini; editing by Thomas Atkins and Matthew Tostevin)

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