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Latvian Energy Shares Dominate Auction of Bank Client Securities

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Dec. 18 (Bloomberg) -- Shares of two Latvian energy companies raised the most money in an auction of securities from client accounts at the bankrupt Latvijas Krajbanka AS on the Nasdaq OMX Riga stock exchange.

Investors bought shares, bonds and fund holdings for 553,814 lats ($1.05 million) in the auction today, according to results on the exchange’s website. Almost half the amount was for shares of natural-gas utility Latvijas Gaze and oil terminal operator AS Ventspils Nafta, sold at or near today’s closing prices on the bourse in Riga.

Shares of distillery AS Latvijas Balzams sold at an average price per share of 1.28 lats, 32 percent less than today’s closing price on the exchange. A single investor paid 12 percent more than today’s close for the 33,570 shares of steelmaker AS Liepajas Metalurgs on offer.

Proceeds from the sale of 35 different securities will be held by notaries for the account owners, who failed to claim them from the defunct lender before a Nov. 30 deadline, according to the exchange.

Latvia took over Krajbanka in November 2011 after Lithuanian regulators seized its parent, Bankas Snoras AB, on claims assets had disappeared. KPMG Baltics, Krajbanka’s bankruptcy administrator, is also seeking to sell real estate belonging to the bank in 14 auctions detailed on the lender’s website.

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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