MILAN (Reuters) - The choice of a new chief executive at UniCredit to replace the outgoing Federico Ghizzoni will not happen before the end of July, the bank's chairman said on Friday in a newspaper interview.

"For the new CEO of UniCredit we will have to wait till at least the end of July," Giuseppe Vita told Il Sole 24 Ore.

Some institutional investors at UniCredit are losing patience with the pace of progress in finding a successor to Ghizzoni.

The CEO agreed to step down in May after growing shareholder discontent over share price performance, profitability and stretched capital.

Vita told the newspaper there was a problem with capital and the bank had to find ways of strengthening its capital base.

"There are many paths, some of them we can take in the meantime, the others will be chosen by the new CEO," he said.

Vita said UniCredit, Italy's biggest bank by assets, would remain a European bank headquartered in Italy.

"With the new CEO we will agree a new strategy which however cannot involve a complete change of route," he said.

(Reporting by Stephen Jewkes)