* CEO Ghizzoni says not worried for the group
* Libyan investors hold around 7.5 pct of Italian bank
* UniCredit shares down almost 6 pct, underperform sector (Recasts with comments from UniCredit CEO)
MILAN, Feb 21 (Reuters) - Italy’s top bank UniCredit (CRDI.MI), 7.5-percent-owned by Libyan investors, is not concerned about the impact of current turmoil on the group.
“We are closely watching developments on the turmoil in Libya because this is a difficult situation, but we are not worried for the group,” Chief Executive Officer Federico Ghizzoni told reporters on Monday.
Separately, a top UniCredit executive said Libyan investors were acting “rationally” while protests sweep across the North African country.
Shares in UniCredit sank nearly 6 percent on Monday, sharply underperforming the Europe STOXX 600 banking index .SX7P as investors worried that the Libyan investors may offload their holdings in the Italian bank. “Our Libyan shareholders are behaving extremely rationally at the moment,” Theodor Weimer, the head of UniCredit’s German arm Hvb, said on the sidelines of a lunch event in Frankfurt.
Libyan shareholders hiked their investment in UniCredit as the bank tapped the market for additional cash in the wake of the credit crisis.
“We have said we do not differentiate between good and bad money,” Weimer said referring to the capital provided by Libya.
The Central Bank of Libya is UniCredit’s No.3 shareholder with a nearly 5 percent stake. The Libyan Investment Authority holds another 2.6 percent.
Reporting by Arno Schuetze and Lisa Jucca; Editing by Hans Peters