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Erste Group Leads 5th Day of Czech Stock Losses on Spain Concern

May 17 (Bloomberg) -- Erste Group Bank AG of Austria fell, leading the fifth day of declines for Czech shares, as Europe’s debt crisis worsened, driving investors from riskier assets.

The stock dropped 3.4 percent to 365 koruna by 4:09 p.m. in Prague, headed for its lowest close in four months. The PX index of 14 companies, where Erste has an 18 percent weighting, slid 0.6 percent to 870.30, poised for a five-month low.

Lenders were among the biggest stock decliners across Europe after the European Central Bank suspended lending to some Greek banks and a report indicated Spanish banks may be downgraded today. Spain’s borrowing costs rose at a sale today, adding to speculation the region’s debt crisis will not be contained.

To contact the reporter on this story: Krystof Chamonikolas in Prague at kchamonikola@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Gavin Serkin at gserkin@bloomberg.net

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