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BRUSSELS, Dec 18 (Reuters) - EU competition regulators are investigating whether dividends paid by a unit of Portuguese state-owned bank Caixa Geral de Depositos (CGD) breached EU state aid rules halting such payouts after its bailout earlier this year.
The European Commission had in July allowed Portuguese authorities to grant a 1.65-billion-euro ($2.17 billion) capital injection to CGD on condition that the lender refrained from paying dividends and coupons on hybrid capital.
The EU antitrust authority said on Tuesday that CGD affiliate Caixa Geral Finance Limited paid a dividend in September.
"The Commission will investigate whether the dividend payments involve a misuse of the rescue aid that CGD had received and whether they constitute, in turn, state aid to the recipients," the EU executive said in a statement.
CGD is Portugal's largest bank. ($1 = 0.7598 euros) (Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Adrian Croft)