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UPDATE 1-Czech bank GE Money proposes $808 mln dividend for sole owner
August 12, 2015 / 10:09 AM / 2 years ago

UPDATE 1-Czech bank GE Money proposes $808 mln dividend for sole owner

* GE Money to pay CZK 19.7 bln dividend

* Sale of bank seen taking place within two years

* GE Money says IPO is one possibility (Adds possibility of listing, net assets, reported rationale for the dividend)

PRAGUE, Aug 12 (Reuters) - Czech bank GE Money will pay a 19.7 billion crown($808.30 million) dividend to its owner, GE Capital International Holdings, as it presses ahead with plans to either sell itself or list its shares, the lender said on Wednesday.

GE Money’s ultimate parent, General Electric, said in April it would shed most of its finance businesses to concentrate on its industrial base.

The bank did not give a reason for the dividend payment, but media reports have said it might make the bank more affordable for a domestic or regional buyer. The country’s sixth largest bank had total assets of 149 billion crowns ($1.13 billion) at the end of June.

A sale of the GE Money is expected within two years. It said on Wednesday an initial public offering of shares in Prague was an option if no buyer could be found.

The top Czech lenders are subsidiaries of foreign groups and have been highly profitable for their owners in recent years.

The leading banks are Ceska Sporitelna, owned by Austria’s Erste Group, CSOB, controlled by Belgium’s KBC , and Komercni Banka, majority owned by France’s Societe Generale. ($1 = 132.1400 crowns) (Reporting by Robert Muller; editing by Susan Thomas and Louise Heavens)

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