Siauliu Bankas Rallies on First Dividend in Five Years

Siauliu Bankas AB climbed to a 15-month high in Vilnius trading after the Lithuanian lender proposed its first dividend in five years and announced plans to give shares to its owners free of charge.

The stock rose as much as 5.1 percent and closed 4.4 percent higher at 0.285 euro, valuing the bank at 67 million euros ($88 million) and extending this year’s gain to 24 percent. Volume of 269,894 shares was 418 percent of the three-month daily average, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Siauliu proposed a dividend of 1.17 million litai ($446,490) from its 2012 profit of 14.9 million litai, according to draft decisions of a March 28 shareholders meeting published on its website. The lender also plans to give its shareholders 15.1 million shares in proportion to the size of their stakes, it said. The share issue will be financed from the bank’s capital reserve.

The bank last paid a dividend in 2008, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The Siauliai-based lender, which is 19.6 percent owned by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, agreed last month to assume insured deposits from Ukio Bankas AB in a deal that will almost double its size.

Siauliu is Lithuania’s only publicly traded bank after regulators closed Ukio on Feb. 12, citing risky lending to related companies.

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