UniCredit boss Profumo set to resign today

Steve Dinneen
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UniCredit chief executive Alessandro Profumo is expected to hand in his resignation today after tensions over stake-building by Libyan groups in the bank boiled over.

Profumo has been accused by some Italian shareholders and politicians of letting Libya increase its stake in the bank without informing other top managers. It was not immediately clear, however, whether the board would accept his resignation.

Libya’s central bank and Tripoli’s sovereign wealth fund have a combined stake in UniCredit of around 7.6 per cent.

If Profumo does quit, he will likely be replaced on an interim basis by chairman Dieter
Rampl and other senior managers.

Market watchdog Consob and the Bank of Italy have requested clarification on the Libyan stakes.

The Libyan central bank – UniCredit’s third biggest shareholder with a 4.988 percent stake – said yesterday it was an independent institution and that it was “extremely satisfied” with the UniCredit investment.

The Libyan Investment Authority, Tripoli’s sovereign wealth fund, raised its stake in the bank by 0.5 per cent to 2.594 per cent last month.