Birmingham, Ala.-based property insurer Vesta Insurance Groupannounced that the New York Stock Exchange will suspend trading thecompany's common stock (ticker symbol VTA).

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The suspension, announced yesterday, will begin with the openingof business on Jan. 5, 2006, or at an earlier date determined bythe NYSE at its discretion.

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Vesta previously disclosed that on Nov. 9 it received noticefrom the NYSE that it was considered "below criteria" because itsaverage total market capitalization was less than $75 million overa consecutive 30-trading-day period and its last reportedshareholders' equity was less than $75 million.

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In addition, Vesta is considered a "late filer" because it hasyet to file its Dec. 31, 2004 Form 10-K and four quarters of Form10-Qs with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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"We are disappointed that we will not be able to complete thefiling of our Form 10-K within the NYSE's initial 9-month cureperiod," said Norman W. Gayle III, president and chief executiveoffice, in a statement. "We remain committed to doing everything wecan to complete all necessary work related to the audit of our 2004financial statements and filing the appropriate periodic reportswith the SEC as soon as possible."

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The announcement said that while NYSE trading is beingsuspended, the company expects its common stock will be quoted onthe Pink Sheets (which detail the prices of over-the-counterstocks) under a new symbol to be assigned by NASDAQ.

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