WARSAW (Thomson Financial) - Poland's largest bank (53 PLN, 1,14%) (8 EUR, 0,00%) may issue new shares to the treasury ministry in return for a stake in the country's biggest insurer PZU, which could be worth more than 7 bln zlotys, daily Rzeczpospolita reported today.
Quoting a government plan, the newspaper said the treasury ministry would raise its stake in the lender to 66 pct from 51.5 pct now as part of a two-step plan to merge the state-controlled companies into a single financial group.
Polish prime minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski said in July his conservative government will seek to merge with PZU, despite a continuing legal battle for the control of the insurer with Dutch-based financial services company Eureko.
Eureko, which holds 32 pct stake in PZU, has won an initial decisions in its arbitration case to force Poland to sell another 21 pct of the insurer as pledged by an earlier government in 2001.
Rzeczpospolita said in the second stage of the merger plan envisaged by the treasury would buy a 40-46 pct stake in PZU from the state worth between 17 and 34 bln zlotys.
The newspaper says the price will be reduced by the value of claims of Eureko against the state treasury, which the daily estimates at up to 9 bln zlotys.
would pay for the stake with money raised from the issue of bonds to PZU and will assume legal obligations of the state towards Eureko, Rzeczpospolita said.
Nobody at and PZU was immediately available for comment.