UPDATE 1-Erste ends Ukraine adventure 250 mln euros poorer
* Sale for $83 mln to businessman Oleksandr Adarich
* Charge of 71 mln eur this quarter
* Shares fall 1.3 pct (Adds details on charge, background, shares)
VIENNA, Dec 20 (Reuters) - Erste Group Bank is to sell its loss-making Ukrainian unit after six-years during which it lost 250 million euros ($331 million), it said on Thursday.
The Austrian lender said it was selling the unit for $83 million to a group of investors led by local businessman and Fidobank owner Oleksandr Adarich and would focus on customers in the eastern part of the European Union.
Shares in Erste Group fell 1.3 percent to 23.98 euros by 1429 GMT, underperforming a flat European banking index.
Erste, which has struggled since the 2008-09 crisis when the Ukrainian hryvnia fell 60 percent against the dollar, said in October the country was not living up to its expectations of economic development.
Several other banks from western Europe including Sweden's SEB and Swedbank and Germany's Commerzbank have left Ukraine or are reducing local exposure.
Erste said it would take a charge of 71 million euros this quarter on the sale of the unit, which it bought in 2007, adding that it had already made provisions for foreign currency losses.
Overall, a spokeswoman said, Erste will have lost 250 million euros on its investment, which it bought for 80 million euros and has supported through capital increases.
($1 = 0.7542 euros) (Reporting by Angelika Gruber and Georgina Prodhan; Editing by Dan Lalor and Helen Massy-Beresford)
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