UniCredit

UniCredit’s surprise announcement that it was selling a 9.1 per cent stake in Bank Pekao SA, its Polish subsidiary, went down like a lead balloon Wednesday on the Warsaw Stock Exchange.

The bank’s share price fell by more than 6 per cent before levelling out at a loss of 5.3 per cent, its worst performance in more than two years. Pekao’s Italian parent hopes to raise about $1.3bn in the sale, which would leave it with a 50.1 per cent stake in the Polish bank, the country’s second largest. 

Amid all the gloom at the European Bank for Reconstruction’s annual meeting, there was a bit of sunshine from Italy’s UniCredit, which has extensive central and east European operations.

‘Credit crunch? What credit crunch?’ was the message in a 27-page presentation.