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VTB Minority Holders Want 15% Dividend

VTB's minority shareholders, who helped it raise more than $11 billion via two share sales, have asked the lender to raise dividends to at least 15 percent of profit for 2011.

"The bank expects to increase profit by 60 percent this year. We will have grounds to recommend sending more on dividends than for 2010," Vladimir Tarachyov, head of VTB shareholders' consulting committee, said during the annual shareholders meeting Friday.

VTB will pay about 6 billion rubles ($220 million) in dividends for 2010, or 11 percent of its profit. That translates to 0.00058 ruble per share, the same as for 2009.

VTB, which raised $3.3 billion in February by floating 10 percent of its shares, decided to pay between 10 and 20 percent of its net profit in dividends in the next three years.

Tarachyov said minority shareholders, who own about 25 percent of VTB, want to get "no less" than 15 percent of net income for 2011. VTB plans to post at least 80 billion rubles profit this year.

VTB may spend up to 20 percent of 2011 profit on dividend payouts, the bank's chief executive officer Andrei Kostin said Friday.

Kostin also proposed that members of the bank's supervisory committee be compensated with shares instead of cash.

If market conditions are buoyant in 2011, the bank's share price could reach 11 kopeks, he said. They last traded at 8.5 kopeks per share.

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