UPDATE 1-Poland's PZU says plans interim dividend, debt issue
* PZU says will pay out interim dividend of 1.73 bln zlotys
* Plans debt issue of up to 3 bln zlotys
* Special dividends in 2013-2015 could total 3 bln zlotys (Adds details, company comment)
WARSAW, Aug 26 (Reuters) - Poland's state-controlled insurer PZU will pay out an interim dividend of 1.73 billion zlotys ($547.4 million) this year, netting the government over 600 million zlotys as it tries to plug a gap in the state budget.
PZU, the biggest insurer in eastern Europe and in which the Polish treasury has a 35 percent stake, also plans a debt issue of up to 3 billion zlotys, it said on Monday.
Analysts have said PZU is one of the state-controlled companies which may be pressured to pay out extra dividends to help the government.
Earlier this year, PZU, which is worth 38 billion zlotys, already handed out 2.56 billion zlotys, or nearly its entire 2012 unconsolidated net profit, as dividend.
The government has since raised by a fifth the amount of money it expects to earn from dividends this year.
PZU said that if the debt issue goes according to plan, it would have a further 1.3 billion zlotys available to spend on special dividends in 2014 and 2015.
"The aim ... is to optimise our balance structure through replacing our own capital with cheaper debt capital, with a high safety level maintained and resources for development secured," PZU said in a statement.
The group said it was implementing a strategy of setting aside between 50 and 100 percent of its profit as dividend.
"Taking into account our profit estimates, in 2014 PZU shareholders may expect a traditional dividend of up to 35 zlotys per share, with a possibility of an additional payout from excess capital," DM PKO BP analyst Jaromir Szortyka said.
"PZU is a company with one of the highest dividend yields on the market right now," he said. ($1 = 3.1605 Polish zlotys) (Reporting by Adrian Krajewski and Pawel Bernat; editing by David Evans)
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