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Millennium approves capital hike of up to 1.33 billion euros
January 9, 2017 / 5:42 PM / 8 months ago

Millennium approves capital hike of up to 1.33 billion euros

People walk near a branch of Millennium BCP Bank in downtown Lisbon, Portugal, May 11, 2016. REUTERS/Rafael Marchante

LISBON (Reuters) - Millennium bcp (BCP.LS) approved on Monday a capital hike of up to 1.33 billion euros (£1.15 billion) and China’s Fosun said it would use the operation to raise its stake in the lender, Portugal’s largest listed bank, to 30 percent from 16.7 percent.

The rights issue was fixed at 0.094 euros per share, which represents a discount of about 38.6 percent compared to Monday’s closing price of 1.0412 euros per share, Millennium said in a statement. Millennium’s shares closed 1.33 percent lower on Monday, before the announcement of the news.

Each shareholder can subscribe to one right and the bank will launch the operation as soon as “practicable” after receiving approval from the Portuguese securities commission.

Online site Economia Online and the site of business daily Jornal de Negocios earlier reported that the bank’s board had approved the capital increase.

Millennium approved in December an increase in the bank’s voting rights cap to 30 percent, as demanded by China’s Fosun, raising the possibility of a capital hike.

Fosun bought a 16.7 percent stake in Millennium last year and said it might expand its holding to up to 30 percent. [nP4N1BB00U]

The bank will use the proceeeds of the rights offering to repay 700 million euros in outstanding contingent convertible bonds (CoCos) to the government, and to boost its balance sheet, it said. These expensive loans were issued to Portuguese banks during the country’s debt crisis.

Millennium’s common equity tier 1 capital ratio, fully implemented, will reach 11.4 percent through both operations.

The bank also said Sonangol, Angola’s state oil company, which owns 14.9 percent of Millennium, has received authorisation from the European Central Bank to raise its stake to 30 percent.

Sonangol made the request after Fosun raised its stake in the bank, but Millennium said it had received no request from Sonangol regarding the rights offering.

Reporting By Axel Bugge and Sergio Goncalves; Editing by Catherine Evans

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