J&T fund to seek clearance for larger MONETA stake after buying 9.9%

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PRAGUE, June 30 (Reuters) - A fund managed by Czech investment group J&T will buy a 9.99% stake in Prague-listed lender MONETA Money Bank (MONET.PR) from Petrus Advisers in two stages and will seek regulatory clearance for a larger holding, J&T said on Thursday.

J&T Arch Investments, J&T's main investment platform, said it would buy 8.89% of MONETA's shares immediately and a further 1.1% by the end of the year.

"The acquired position opens quite wide options for further action that will also depend on the steps of other large shareholders," J&T investment director Adam Tomis said in a statement.

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The acquisition, which J&T said was at a premium to the market price, comes soon after investment company PPF Group abandoned a planned 25.9 billion crown ($1.09 billion) merger of its Czech lending business with MONETA, but PPF remains MONETA's largest shareholder with about 30%.

MONETA shares gained 1% after the news to trade 0.2% up on the day at 83.89 crowns in a weaker wider market.

Billionaire investor Pavel Tykac is another major MONETA shareholder with 6.7% stake held at the end of May, according to MONETA filings.

J&T said it plans to ask the Czech National Bank in the coming days to approve the acquisition of a qualifying holding, which would allow it to cross the 10% threshold.

Petrus, which had strongly opposed MONETA's planned merger with PPF assets, had announced a week ago it had reached an agreement with J&T to sell almost its entire stake in MONETA but the exact size of the stake was not announced.

J&T Arch Investments manages J&T founders' money as well as that of other individuals and institutional investors, J&T said.

($1 = 23.6730 Czech crowns)

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Reporting by Jason Hovet and Jan Lopatka. Editing by Jane Merriman

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