UniCredit is set for capital raise

SHAREHOLDERS at Italian bank UniCredit yesterday overwhelmingly backed a highly dilutive €7.5bn (£7.3bn) capital increase to shore up its ravaged balance sheet.

Italy’s most internationally exposed lender faces a €7.97bn capital shortfall – the second-biggest in Europe after Spain’s Santander -- to meet tougher requirements set by the European Banking Authority to buttress the region’s lenders.

Around 98 per cent of investors approved the rights issue, which will be priced in early January.