Raiffeisen ups stake in Belarus's Priorbank to almost 80%

MINSK. Sept 2 (Interfax) - Raiffeisen International Bank Holding AG increased its stake in Belarus's Priorbank to 79.43% stake in August from 63.05%, a member of the Belarusian Currency and Stock Exchange told Interfax.

A total of 47 deals for 22.6 billion Belarusian rubles were registered on the exchange in August to buy 2.322 million shares in Priorbank, or 2.88% of its charter capital.

In addition, as earlier reported, Raiffeisen in August bought 10.884 million shares in Priorbank, or 13.5% of its charter capital, for $50.173 million from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

Priorbank told Interfax that these transactions were executed with the bank's minority shareholders as part of a 30-day offer Raiffeisen called on August 19 for the purchase of the bank's stock.

Priorbank has charter capital of 270.1045 billion Belarusian rubles split into 80.628 million shares with par value of 3,350 rubles.

Raiffeisen is buying the Priorbank stock at a price of 9,739 rubles per share.

Priorbank was founded in 1989. Raiffeisen became a shareholder in the bank in 2003. The Belarusian government and state-affiliated shareholders own 10% of the bank.

Priorbank ranked 82nd by assets among CIS banks and third among Belarusian banks in 2007 in the Interfax-1000: CIS Banks ranking.

The official exchange rate on September 2 was 2,111 Belarusian rubles/ $1.



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