Friday, June 26, 2009

Erste wants to delay BCR listing to 2010-11 -AVAS

BUCHAREST, June 25 (Reuters) - Austrian Erste Bank (ERST.VI) ERST.BX wants to postpone listing its Romanian unit BCR, the Black Sea country's biggest bank, to 2010-2011, Romania's privatisation agency AVAS said on Thursday.

Under a 3.75 billion euro ($5.2 billion) deal to buy BCR signed in 2005 Erste had three years to list BCR on the Bucharest stock exchange following completion to give minority shareholders an exit option.

"Even though it was not required to do so, Erste has asked for an opinion from AVAS regarding (BCR) listing ... to be done in 2010 or 2011," AVAS head Mircea Ursache was quoted as saying by state news agency Agerpres. "Given current market conditions I agreed with this (listing plans)."

Erste officials were not available for comment.

Apart from Erste, which owns a 69.3 percent stake in BCR , five Romanian investment firms own a combined 30 percent of the bank. Other investors including individuals hold the rest. (Reporting by Radu Marinas; Editing by Dan Lalor) ($1 = 0.7177 euro)

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