February 21, 2020 / 8:09 AM / in a month

UniCredit shares fall at open after report Mustier vying for HSBC top job

FILE PHOTO: Unicredit bank CEO Jean Pierre Mustier poses during the shareholders meeting in Rome, Italy, January 12, 2017. REUTERS/Remo Casilli/File Photo

MILAN (Reuters) - Shares in Italy’s biggest bank UniCredit fell more than 1% at open on Friday following reports Chief Executive Jean Pierre Mustier is being considered for the top job at rival HSBC (HSBA.L).

HSBC this week unveiled a drastic overhaul, the third since the financial crisis, under interim CEO Noel Quinn.

Bloomberg News reported on Thursday Mustier had emerged as a contender for the job, which Quinn is vying to secure on a permanent basis. HSBC said in August it would pick a permanent CEO within six to 12 months.

A source familiar with the matter confirmed to Reuters Mustier is a candidate. Both banks declined to comment.

UniCredit shares were down 1.3% in early trade on Friday, following a 2.9% drop the previous day when it underperformed a 2.1% fall in the sector .FTIT8300.

Mustier arrived at UniCredit in mid-2016 to oversee a turnaround that has seen the bank slash costs and bad debts while also selling assets and new shares to boost capital.

Reporting by Valentina Za and Giselda Vagnoni

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