chs. Rome ⋅ Italian bank Unicredit is withdrawing plans to take over Russian lender Otkritie. The bank announced this on Friday. The reason is the geopolitical tensions surrounding Ukraine and the associated threat of sanctions. “We have withdrawn from the data room,” Unicredit CEO Andrea Orcel told reporters and analysts on Friday, in reference to Otkritie’s ongoing review. The Russian bank was nationalized by Moscow in 2007 to avoid collapse. Now the Russian government wants to privatize it through an IPO. Otkritie is now the eighth largest bank in Russia in terms of assets, while Unicredit is twelfth with its bank AO Unicredit. Despite the uncertain situation, the Italian bank wants to maintain its presence in Russia, which has existed since 2007 and currently has 4,000 employees, said Orcel, because it is successful. The income has always been higher than the cost of capital, while at the same time the risks are manageable.
However, the Italian bank is set to expand in another area: it is expanding and extending its cooperation with the German insurer Allianz, which began in 1996. Now the two companies are not only working together in Central and Eastern Europe, but also in Germany and Italy. They want to use each other as a sales channel and jointly develop and connect their digital networks. If a Unicredit employee sells a mortgage, for example, he should also be able to offer the customer Allianz insurance. Both companies want to train their employees accordingly, including in marketing. According to Unicredit, it has more than 15 million customers in Italy, Germany and Central and Eastern Europe, and Allianz has over 30 million customers.