CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-Erste Group launches 2 bln euro Additional Tier 1 notes programme

Wed Jun 25, 2014 4:45am EDT

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(Corrects figure in headline to euros from U.S. dollars)

VIENNA, June 25 (Reuters) - Austrian lender Erste Group has launched a 2 billion euro ($2.7 billion) Additional Tier 1 notes programme as a potential backup should it need more capital, it said on Wednesday.

"It gives us the possibility to issue Additional Tier 1 capital whenever we want, up to 2 billion, but there is no plan (to do so) for the time being. This is just the framework programme," a bank spokesman said.

The programme replaces Erste's former hybrid capital programme, which is no longer recognised under the latest regulatory standards, he said.

Barclays is arranger of the programme, while Barclays and Erste would be dealers.

Net proceeds from any issues would be used for general funding purposes, to strengthen Erste's capital base and to optimise the composition of its own funds, it said.

Erste posted a common equity Tier 1 capital ratio of 11.1 percent of risk-weighted assets at the end of the first quarter.

For details see: here

($1 = 0.7355 Euros) (Reporting by Michael Shields; Editing by Erica Billingham and David Holmes)

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