UPDATE 1-Insurer Gjensidige may sell SR Bank stake in $270 mln deal

Tue Feb 11, 2014 7:06am EST

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(Adds Gjensidige comments)

OSLO Feb 11 (Reuters) - Norwegian insurer Gjensidige plans to cut its stake in SR Bank, it said on Tuesday, in a transaction that would be worth up to 1.67 billion crowns ($272.3 million) at the current share price.

Gjensidige hopes to sell at least 14 million shares and may sell all its 26.48 million-strong holding, corresponding to a 10.4 percent stake, it said in a statement.

"This is a financial investment. We're selling now because we feel the share has reached an attractive level," Gjensidige spokesman Oeystein Thoresen said.

"The aim of such investments is to get the greatest possible return and we feel that this is good timing."

Asked if a sale would lead to higher dividends from Gjensidige, Thoresen said that was not on the agenda for the time being.

Since the start of 2013, shares of Sparebank 1 SR Bank have risen 67 percent on the Oslo Bourse. At 1153 GMT the stock traded 0.4 percent lower at 62.75 crowns.

Brokerages Arctic Securities and DNB Markets are book runners in the share sale, which Gjensidige plans to complete by 0600 GMT on Feb. 12.

($1 = 6.1322 Norwegian kroner) (Reporting by Terje Solsvik; Editing by Gwladys Fouche and David Holmes)

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