MILAN, Oct 12 (Reuters) - Italy's UniCredit said on Wednesday it was placing a 20 percent stake in its online broker unit FinecoBank with institutional investors as it seeks to bolster its financial strength.
In July Italy's biggest bank by assets launched a strategic in-depth review under its new chief executive Jean-Pierre Mustier to boost capital and improve profitability.
At current market prices the sale of a 20 percent stake in Fineco would raise just under 600 million euros ($672 million). UniCredit in July sold a 10 percent stake in Fineco at 5.40 euros per share, netting 328 million euros, but the online broker's stock has dropped since then.
It closed at 4.7880 euros on Wednesday.
UniCredit said in a statement that after the placement the bank would continue to control and consolidate Fineco with a stake of about 35 percent.
It said it had agreed a 360 day lockup period on the Fineco shares it will hold after the placement, adding it would not sell any further shares in Fineco during the lockup period without the consent of UBS on behalf of the joint bookrunners.
$1 = 0.8928 euros Reporting by Stephen Jewkes