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Russia's state-run VTB bank said on Thursday
Russia's state-run VTB bank said on Thursday it has sold 5% in the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company (EADS) to another state bank Vnesheconombank (VEB).

The country's second largest bank said the sale to VEB, which services Russia's external debts and provides support for intergovernmental agreements, is in line with its "balance sheet optimization strategy."

VTB said in a news release that the stake equaled 41.056 million shares. According to Vasily Titov, a VTB deputy chairman, the stake had been sold at 24.23 euros per share.

Consequently, the size of the deal is 994.79 million euros, approximately the same as VTB paid for the stake in the summer of 2006.

VTB CEO Andrei Kostin said in early December that the stake could eventually be transferred to the United Aircraft Building Corporation (UABC), but was likely to be initially sold to VEB to bypass administrative barriers to a direct transfer of the stake.

VEB Chairman Vladimir Dmitriyev also said earlier his bank could exchange the 5% stake in EADS for a share in the UABC. He said VEB could buy part of the company's planned issue of shares.

The UABC, which is 90% state owned, incorporates aircraft building companies and state assets engaged in the manufacture, design and sale of military, civilian, transport and unmanned aircraft in a bid to streamline the Russian aviation industry.

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