If the shareholders will approve Erste’s proposal at the general meeting scheduled for May 12, the bank will issue as much as 62.35 mln ordinary stocks.

Furthermore, the bank plans to buy back own stocks from the capital market in order to be traded, with the condition that the total value of stocks bought on a daily basis does not exceed 5% of the chartered capital.

“The value cannot be lower than half of the closing price at Vienna Stock Exchange in the trading day before the purchase and cannot exceed twice the closing price in the trading day before the acquisition”, reads the press release remitted to BSE.

The bank will pay out a dividend of 0.65 euros for the 317 mln shares without a nominal value. In this purpose the bank could distribute 206.05 mln euros.

Erste Group signed an agreement with the Austrian authorities to raise up to 2.7 billion euros in hybrid and participation capital, the group getting 1.89 billion euros of participation capital from the Austrian state.

The capitalization measures went public in October last year and were approved by Erste shareholders at the general meeting in December 2nd.

The bank posted for 2008 a net profit after minorities of 859.6 mln euros, down 27% from a year earlier, following the assignment of the proceeds from the sale of the insurance business to the full write-down of intangibles and partial write-downs of goodwill.

Erste Group stocks (EBS) are traded at three stock exchange platforms (Vienna, Prague and Bucharest) and according to the Friday’s closing quotas at BSE, of 66.10lei/share, the capitalization of the bank stands at 20.95 bln lei.