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Erste Group shares drop as foundation sells stake

Tuesday, 2 Oct 2012 | 5:19 AM ET

VIENNA, Oct 2 (Reuters) - Shares in Erste Group Bank

dropped more than 3 percent on Tuesday after the foundation that is a major shareholder in the Austrian lender sold a 3.55 percent stake.

The Erste Foundation said it had sold 14 million shares at 16.80 euros each, concluding a share sale programme to raise about 235 million euros ($303 million) to cover its planned liabilities repayments.

Erste shares traded down 2.6 percent at 17.22 euros by 1008 GMT, off a low of 16.99 earlier in the morning, topping the list of decliners in the main Vienna index .

The Erste Foundation had said late on Monday it would cut its stake to approximately 20.2 percent.

A source familiar with the deal said the share sale was four times oversusbcribed.

($1 = 0.7749 euros)

(Reporting by Georgina Prodhan in Vienna and Philipp Halstrick in Frankfurt; Editing by Mark Potter)

((georgina.prodhan@thomsonreuters.com)(+431 5311 2256)(Reuters Messaging: georgina.prodhan.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: ERSTE PLACEMENT/SHARES

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