BlackRock UniCredit stake in focus

Italian market watchdog Consob is looking into two contradictory statements made by BlackRock, the world's largest asset manager, over its stake in UniCredit, a source close to Consob said yesterday.

BlackRock said yesterday its holding in the Italian bank stood at 3.09 per cent, retracting an earlier statement which said it had cut its stake to 1.71 per cent just days before the launch of UniCredit's €7.5bn rights issue. "We are making checks on this," the source said. "Blackrock says they made a mistake, but there is a capital increase underway, it's a systemically important financial institution and a European blue chip – so we have to look into this.”