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UPDATE 1-Italy's Consob approves Credit Agricole's bid for Creval

(Recasts lede, adds details)

March 22 (Reuters) - Credit Agricole Italia said on Monday that Italian market regulator Consob has cleared the publication of the investor document detailing its offer to buy rival Creval, paving the way for the launch of the bid.

The offer will start March 30 and will end on April 21.

The all-cash offer for Creval by the Italian arm of Credit Agricole announced in November received a green light from banking supervisors and the Italian government, which has the right to block unwanted bids in strategic industries such as banking, telecoms and health.

Credit Agricole is offering 10.50 euros ($12.53) a share to buy third-tier lender Creval, for a total investment of 737 million euros, to expand its presence in Italy, its second biggest market.

Shares in Creval have been trading above the offer price since, indicating the market expects Credit Agricole to improve its offer.

Creval was awaiting the publication of the prospectus to give an official opinion on the bid but several of its shareholders have already said it is too low.

$1 = 0.8381 euros Reporting by Radhika Anilkumar in Bengaluru and Andrea Mandala in Milan;

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