UPDATE 2-UniCredit set for 90-95 pct rights take-up - source
* Consortium optimistic on rights issue take-up - source
* Libyan, Abu Dhabi investors could be diluted - source
(Adds Libyan central bank)
By Paola Arosio and Silvia Aloisi
MILAN, Jan 13 (Reuters) - Italian lender UniCredit's (CRDI.MI) 7.5 billion euros ($9.6 billion) capital increase will likely be taken up by 90-95 percent of shareholders, a source at one of the deal's 27 underwriters said.
UniCredit's deeply discounted rights issue CRDI_r.MI, designed to help it meet tougher European Union capital requirements, has been fully underwritten by a consortium led by Mediobanca (MDBI.MI) and BOfA Merrill Lynch.
There had been fears underwriters might be left holding a lot of UniCredit stock when its price plunged early this week.
UniCredit shares closed up 0.5 percent at 2.9180 euros, compared with a 2.2000 euros low on Monday and a rights-adjusted 4.1691 euros close on Jan. 3, the day before the issue price was announced.
The source said underwriters were optimistic about the outcome of the cash call, regarded as a litmus test of investor confidence in European banks under pressure to raise funds to withstand the region's debt crisis.
"There has been pre-marketing and scouting done by every bank (in the consortium), and considering also other guaranteed capital increases we are looking at 90-95 percent," the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
A second source close to the matter said underwriters did not expect a large amount of unsold rights.
Abu Dhabi and Libyan shareholders may not take up all of their rights and have their holdings diluted, one of the sources said.
The Libyan central bank, which holds 4.99 percent of UniCredit, said on Friday it would maintain its stake in the bank by buying new shares. The Libyan Investment Authority, which has around 2.6 percent, has not yet said what it intends to do.
Abu Dhabi fund Aabar fund has a 5 percent stake, covered by collar and put options negotiated with Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley and meant to protect it against share price falls.
Those collar transactions expire in 2013, according to a report on the website of Abu Dhabi investment vehicle IPIC, of which the Aabar fund is a unit, complicating its participation in the rights issue.
Traders have cited foreign funds buying after the steep slide in the share price early this week, and UniCredit has said its shareholder base could be reshuffled in the wake of the capital increase.
There has been press speculation that sovereign funds from China, Qatar and Singapore could step in.
On Thursday, UniCredit chief operating officer Paolo Fiorentino said the bank was not aware of sovereign fund involvement in the share price fluctuations of the past few days.
($1 = 0.7814 euro)
(additional reporting by Oliver Holmes in Tripoli; Editing by Dan Lalor and David Cowell)
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