Bloomberg News

Erste Bank Leads Czech Shares Lower, Slumps Most in 2 1/2 Years

October 10, 2011

Oct. 10 (Bloomberg) -- Erste Group Bank AG slumped the most in more than two and a half years in Prague trading, leading a decline of the Czech stock index after the Austrian lender said it will post a loss.

Erste fell 13 percent to 444 koruna at the 4:24 p.m. close in Prague, the biggest one-day drop since February 2009. The PX equity gauge retreated 1.8 percent as Erste’s losses outweighed gains for CEZ AS, New World Resources Plc and Orco Property Group SA.

Vienna-based Erste said today it won’t pay a dividend this year and has shelved plans for an early repayment of 1.2 billion euros (1.6 billion) of government aid as it expects to post a full-year loss of as much as 800 million euros after writedowns on its Hungarian and Romanian units.

“The two writedowns will have no direct impact on the bank’s regulatory capital, but will obviously be negative for earnings,” analyst Marek Hatlapatka at Cyrrus brokerage in Brno, Czech Republic, wrote in a report today.

New World Resources, the biggest Czech coking-coal producer, rose 1.5 percent to 139 koruna, its fourth day of gains. Europe’s benchmark coal derivatives increased to $120.8 per metric ton, the highest closing price this month.

CEZ AS, the country’s biggest utility, rose 1.6 percent to 712 koruna, the highest close this month. Electricity for next- year delivery in Germany, where CEZ exports part of its output, climbed 0.5 percent to 56.1 euros per megawatt-hour.

--Editors: Chris Peterson, Robert Valpuesta

To contact the reporter on this story: Krystof Chamonikolas in Prague at kchamonikola@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Gavin Serkin at gserkin@bloomberg.net


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