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Ukio Rises for 1st Time in Week After CEO's Debt Remark

Nov. 14 (Bloomberg) -- AB Ukio Bankas rose for the first time in a week after the chairman of Lithuania’s biggest listed bank by assets said it was protected from losses on the value of property taken over from debtors.

The shares rose 4.2 percent from an eight-year low to 0.124 euros ($0.158) in Vilnius for the biggest gain since March 26, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Volume of 237,307 shares was just below the 12-month daily average.

Chairman Arnas Zalys said the bank had guarantees on the valuation of a property developer it took over last week from several borrowers, who would be required to pay compensation if the true value turned out to be less. The shares lost a quarter of their value in a week as analysts, including Swedbank’s Mart Kroodo, said they were concerned about the size and nature of the deal, and the accuracy of the developer’s valuation.

The move to take ownership of UAB Zalgirio Sporto Arena, valued at 357 million litai ($131 million), shows that the bank “is starting to work actively with its portfolio of borrowers, seeking to improve its efficiency in resolving problem debts,” Zalys said in remarks to Bloomberg published late yesterday. “Such steps are painful in the short run, but they are essential.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Bryan Bradley in Vilnius at bbradley13@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at bpenz@bloomberg.net

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