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MarketScreener Homepage  >  Equities  >  Italian Stock Exchange  >  UniCredit S.p.A.    UCG   IT0005239360

UNICREDIT S.P.A.

(UCG)
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Italy's UniCredit puts 2019 dividend, share buyback on hold after ECB recommendation

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03/29/2020 | 06:39pm EDT
A view of the Unicredit headquarters  of which many employees are working from home due to a coronavirus outbreak, in Milan

UniCredit on Sunday became the first Italian bank to comply with regulatory calls to preserve capital to support the economy against the coronavirus, putting on hold plans to pay dividends on 2019 results and to buy back shares.

The European Central Bank told euro zone banks on Friday to skip dividend payments and share buybacks until the start of October at the earliest and use profits instead to boost capital and their ability to withstand losses and to lend.

As measures to fight the pandemic lead to a paralysis of economic activity, banks are on the front line in a battle to keep cash-starved businesses alive.

After rushing to ease capital and bad-loan rules to keep credit flowing, regulators expect banks in turn at least to temporarily withhold shareholder remuneration.

UniCredit, Italy's largest bank by assets, said it was withdrawing a proposal for shareholders to approve a dividend of 63 euro cents per share and authorise a share buyback for up to 467 million euros ($520 million) when they meet on April 9.

The bank said it reserved the right to submit again to shareholders the same proposals after Oct. 1 depending on the ECB review of its recommendation.

The decision not to distribute part of last year's profits as dividends will add 0.37 percentage point to UniCredit's core capital ratio, it said.

The board of rival heavyweight Intesa Sanpaolo meets on Tuesday to discuss the ECB's recommendation.

Following a successful restructuring under Chief Executive Jean Pierre Mustier, UniCredit had been focusing on boosting returns for shareholders through a combination of dividends and buybacks, after shelving plans for a cross-border merger.

The bank said on Feb. 6 it would consider returning 50% of its underlying profit to investors as early as in 2020, reaching a capital distribution threshold it had set for 2023 under a plan unveiled in December.

Since then, however, the coronavirus contagion, which started hitting Italy in late February, has killed almost 10,800 people in the country, out of 97,689 confirmed cases - more than a third of all deaths from the respiratory disease worldwide.

A government ban on all non-essential business activity is set to plunge the Italian economy into a deep recession this year.

UniCredit said it would offer zero-interest loans to banking foundation shareholders for an amount equivalent to the dividend it would not pay in April. Such charitable entities hold in aggregate around 4.5% of UniCredit's capital.

By Valentina Za

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
INTESA SANPAOLO SPA 2.90% 1.669 Delayed Quote.-30.81%
THE LEAD CO., INC. -1.01% 391 End-of-day quote.0.26%
UNICREDIT S.P.A. 3.82% 8.314 Delayed Quote.-38.29%
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Financials
Sales 2020 17 449 M 19 536 M 19 536 M
Net income 2020 -1 776 M -1 989 M -1 989 M
Net Debt 2020 - - -
P/E ratio 2020 -10,6x
Yield 2020 1,73%
Capitalization 17 899 M 20 021 M 20 039 M
EV / Sales 2019
Capi. / Sales 2020 1,03x
Nbr of Employees 83 942
Free-Float 92,7%
Chart UNICREDIT S.P.A.
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UniCredit S.p.A. Technical Analysis Chart | MarketScreener
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Technical analysis trends UNICREDIT S.P.A.
Short TermMid-TermLong Term
TrendsBullishBearishBearish
Income Statement Evolution
Consensus
Sell
Buy
Mean consensus OUTPERFORM
Number of Analysts 25
Average target price 9,77 €
Last Close Price 8,04 €
Spread / Highest target 105%
Spread / Average Target 21,6%
Spread / Lowest Target -49,2%
EPS Revisions
Managers
NameTitle
Jean-Pierre Mustier Chief Executive Officer & Director
Cesare Bisoni Chairman
Ranieri de Marchis Co-Chief Operating Officer
Carlo Vivaldi Co-Chief Operating Officer
Stefano Porro Co-Group Chief Financial Officer
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