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Unicredit To Launch Real Estate Fund Report

UniCredit plans to set up a real estate fund, following the example of other major European banking groups, which would use parts of buildings that house the bank's branches and other properties, Reuters news agency reported on July 20.The fund would be worth around two billion euro, Reuters said, quoting a report in Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore. Contacted by Reuters, the group declined to comment.UniCredit was reportedly looking for an asset management company to manage the assets of the future fund, as well as advisers that would help it sell stakes in it, according to the Italian newspaper's report, quoted by Reuters.At the same time, private equity firm Fortress Investment Group was negotiating a joint venture with UniCredit's fund management subsidiary Pioneer, which would manage Pioneer's real estate funds.Banking groups have invested heavily in recent years in real estate operations on the booming Central and Eastern European (CEE) markets. UniCredit is the leading group, by assets, in the CEE region and owns UniCredit Bulbank in Bulgaria, the country's largest financial institution by assets.