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Poland’s PZU draws record number of investors

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Over a quarter million individual investors signed up for a pool of seven million shares in Poland’s PZU insurance giant, setting a new record, Poland’s Treasury Minister Aleksander Grad said Thursday.

“We have a new record on our capital market, over 250,000 investors have signed up for shares in PZU,” the minister told reporters in Warsaw. Each investor is entitled to a maximum 30 shares, with each share valued at 312.50 zloty (79.78 euros, 105 dollars) raising over 2.0 billion zloty in capital, Grad told reporter in Warsaw.

The treasury could announce the date of the PZU float on the Warsaw Stock Exchange on May 7 or 8, Grad said Thursday. Earlier official statements pegged May 14 as the first day of trading. The debut of Powszechny Zaklad Ubezpieczien on the Warsaw Stock Exchange is slated to be the largest-ever initial public offering on the exchange set up in 1991 after the 1989 peaceful demise of communism in Poland.

Analysts also say the float will be one of the largest in Europe in recent years. The Polish State Treasury, along with PZU shareholder, Dutch-based insurer Eureko BV, are selling a 30 percent stake in the state-controlled PZU in line with the state’s aim to raise some 7.5 billion euros (10 billion dollars) from the privatisation of state assets to help finance its spending deficit.

Warsaw, April 29, 2010 (AFP)