There’s a simple explanation for why the world’s zombie banks remain so reluctant to write off worthless assets and tap the equity markets for fresh capital. They don’t want to end up like UniCredit SpA. (UCG)
This month has been a nightmare for the Italian bank’s shareholders. Since embarking last week on a 7.5 billion euro ($9.7 billion) stock sale at a steep discount to its Jan. 3 closing price, UniCredit shares have fallen 39 percent to 2.56 euros. It seems no good deed goes unpunished when it comes to lenders besieged by Europe’s debt crisis. A little bit of candor about the true state of a company’s finances can hurt a lot.