BUCHAREST, March 29 (Reuters) - Romania's top oil and gas company Petrom SNPP.BX plans to increase its nominal share capital by 202 million lei ($67 million) to 5.9 billion lei, it said in a statement on Monday, significantly less than markets had expected.
Late last year government sources had estimated the capital hike at Petrom, which is 51 percent-owned by Austria's OMV (OMVV.VI: Quote,Profile, Research), would be for about 1 billion euros ($1.3 billion). [ID:nLDE62E0IW] [ID:nLDE5BH1HF]
The increase, designed to keep the company from exceeding a 30 percent cap on debt gearing, is subject to the approval of shareholders, who meet on April 29.
Petrom will issue up to 2.02 billion shares at a nominal value of 0.1 lei per share. It will sell 417 million shares to Romania's economy ministry, which owns a 20.6 percent stake in the firm.
Petrom's share price opened trading on Monday unchanged at 0.349 lei. ($1=3.029 lei) ($1=.7439 euros) (Reporting by Luiza Ilie; Editing by Greg Mahlich)