Too early for big merger deals in Europe: UniCredit CEO


By Lisa Jucca and Gianluca Semeraro

MILAN (Reuters) - Large cross-border bank deals are unlikely to re-emerge in Europe until a European banking union is fully in place, the head of Italy's biggest bank UniCredit (MIL:UCG), Federico Ghizzoni, told Reuters in an interview on Saturday.

For what concerns Italy, where a number of mid-sized banks like Banca Marche and Carige are struggling to find enough capital, Ghizzoni said his bank was not interested in acquisitions.

"Banks like Unicredit are less pressured. We don't have an interest right now to participate in consolidation growth in Italy," Ghizzoni, whose bank has extensive operations in Germany, Austria and eastern Europe, told Reuters.

Over 100 large European banks are going to be placed under the supervision of the European Central Bank, that will act as a single banking regulator.

Ghizzoni, whose bank is the main investor in Italy's biggest investment bank Mediobanca, said he did not expect the shareholder agreement locking up control of the investment bank to change significantly when it expires at the end of this year. Investors must decide this month if they want to remain in the core investor group, or to exit. (Reporting by Lisa Jucca and Gianluca Semeraro, editing by Jennifer Clark)

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