Italian bank UniCredit plans to give investors $18B by 2024

MILAN (AP) — Italian bank UniCredit announced a three-year business plan Thursday that includes distributing some 16 billion euros ($18 billion) to shareholders from 2022 to 2024.

The plan under CEO Andrea Orcel, who took over in April, also calls for raising net profit to 4.5 billion euros by 2024, from a targeted 3.3 billion this year.

“With this strategy we will deliver materially increased and growing shareholder returns while growing our business and maintaining capital strength,” Orcel said in a statement.

The bank’s shares grew by 9.5%, to 12.65 euros, after the plan was announced.

It includes half a million euros in cost-cutting as the bank boosts revenue by 1.1 billion euros, to more than 17 billion euros, through fees and recovering market share.

The bank also plans to invest nearly 3 billion euros in a digital strategy, including a new platform, more digital services and real-time payments along with strengthening cybersecurity.

UniCredit has over 14 million private clients and 1 million corporate clients in Italy, Germany, eastern Europe and central Europe. It is the second-largest bank by assets in Italy and the third-largest in Germany.

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