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Exclusive - Czech finance ministry proposes beefed-up CEZ dividend

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PRAGUE (Reuters) - The Czech Finance Ministry has proposed that state-controlled utility CEZ pays a dividend of 48 crowns per share this year, rather tyhan the 44 crowns proposed by the company's board, the ministry said on Monday.

The higher dividend, to be voted on at an annual meeting on June 28, would amount to 25.8 billion crowns ($1.1 billion) rather than the 23.7 billion crowns proposed by the board. The state owns 70% of CEZ.

The proposal would also move the payment date by three months to Nov. 1 from Aug. 1 to give CEZ extra time to secure liquidity given high margin requirements on power exchanges in a volatile market, the ministry said.

($1 = 23.4760 Czech crowns)

(Reporting by Jan Lopatka and Robert Muller; Editing by David Goodman)

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