UPDATE 1-BNP Paribas Polish unit to issue shares worth $223 mln
(Adds context on free float, share price, price and timing, targets)
WARSAW, June 10 (Reuters) - The Polish unit of French lender BNP Paribas will issue shares worth 715 million zlotys ($223.27 million) to meet the Polish financial regulator's requirement to raise its free float to 15 percent.
BNP Paribas Bank Polska, said in a statement on Monday the offer of 8.58 million shares would be sold to institutional and individual investors in Poland and selected investors abroad.
The offer is valued at 715 million zlotys at the current market price, but such deals are usually discounted to attract buyers.
Poland's financial watchdog has asked several foreign lenders to raise the number of shares other investors can own in their Polish units listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange.
A greater free float improves a stock's liquidity and ensures a more diverse shareholder base, a particular issue for some large, foreign-owned companies.
The illiquid BNP Paribas Polska shares were little changed at 83.50 zlotys.
The bank said the share issue would happen shortly "in mid-2013" but gave no precise details.
It said in a statement that its long-term ambition is to become one of the top ten banks in Poland, with a market share of around 5 percent in terms of assets.
It added that it plans to increase revenue between 6 percent to 8 percent annually in the next three to four years.
Citigroup will be the global coordinator and the joint bookrunner of the issue with BNP Paribas. ING Bank, BRE Bank and Banco Santander will co-manage the offer.
BNP Paribas units hold nearly all of BNP Paribas Bank Polska. ($1 = 3.2024 Polish zlotys) (Reporting by Chris Borowski; editing by Patrick Graham and Louise Heavens)
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