MILAN, Sept 18 (Reuters) - Italian lender UniCredit took 7.75 billion euros ($10 billion) in cheap four-year funds the European Central Bank offerered to euro zone lenders on Thursday, a spokesman said.
Waleed El-Amir, the bank's head of funding, said on the sideline of a conference that the bank's overall take-up would probably be less than the 12 billion euro total it could reach participating also to the next tender in December.
The amount allotted on Thursday exhausts what UniCredit can ask for Italy but it could participate to the next ECB's four-year tender in December for Austria and Germany, the other two countries where the bank operates.
"The overall amount that we could get, including what already obtained for Italy today, is of up to 12 billion euros, but I don't believe we are going to reach the maximum level, it's going to be somewhat below that," he said.
El-Amir said UniCredit was assessing the prospects for loan demand in Germany and Austria before tapping the ECB longer-term funds for the two countries to see how much of the funds borrowed it could then pass on as lending to clients. (1 US dollar = 0.7762 euro) (Reporting by Valentina Za and Giulio Piovaccari; editing by Francesca Landini)