Regional bank owners boost Volksbanken stake
VIENNA Jan 20 (Reuters) - The Austrian regional banks that own most of part-nationalised Volksbanken AG have increased their stake to 51.6 percent by buying a 1.5 percent stake from German insurer Ergo, the bank said on Monday.
It was confirming a report by the newspaper WirtschaftsBlatt, which also cited supervisory board sources as saying the lender might need up to 200 million euros ($271 million) in additional state aid this year.
A bank spokesman would not confirm this, saying any support that the loss-making lender may require would be clear only after it has finalised its 2013 results.
Finance Minister Michael Spindelegger had told a Sunday newspaper that Austria would not exceed the 5.8 billion euro aid limit it has set for ailing banks by 2018.
Spindelegger has taken a hard line on more aid for Volksbanken, one of six Austrian banks due to come under direct supervision of the European Central Bank this year.
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