(Adds context on free float, share price, price and timing,
WARSAW, June 10 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
The offer is valued at 715 million zlotys at the current
market price, but such deals are usually discounted to attract
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
($1 = 3.2024 Polish zlotys)
(Reporting by Chris Borowski; editing by Patrick Graham and