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MILAN (AP) - U.S. investment firm Blackrock has increased its stake in Italian bank UniCredit to become its second-largest shareholder.

The Italian stock market watchdog, Consob, said Blackrock raised its stake to 5.036 percent, from 3.103 percent at the end of November. Institutional investors are required to disclose publicly when their stakes exceed the 5 percent level.

The Abu Dhabi investment fund is the largest shareholder with 6.501 percent. Private equity firm Pamplona Capital Management is third with a 5.011 percent share.

In all, one-quarter of UniCredit shares are in foreign hands.

UniCredit shares closed the week down 2.6 percent at (EURO)4.634 ($6.34) in Milan.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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