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Slovenia plans to lift NLB restrictions to push forth its privatisation

Slovenia plans to lift NLB restrictions to push forth its privatisation Author: NLB. License: All rights reserved.

LJUBLJANA (Slovenia), February 26 (SeeNews) – Slovenia's government is considering lifting the restrictions in the management of the country’s largest bank Nova Ljubljanska Banka in a bid to advance its privatisation, finance minister Andrej Bertoncelj said.

The restrictions in force concern the possible sale of NLB Vita, the bank's insurance subsidiary, leasing services, factoring, and the closure of branch offices, the finance ministry said in a statement.

Slovenia will continue to dispose of NLB shares in 2019, selling up to 75% minus one share, Bertoncelj said on Monday after a meeting with EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager in Ljubljana, as quoted in the statement.

In a public offering in November, Slovenia sold 11,818,181 shares, or 59.1% of all NLB shares, for 51.50 euro ($58.77) each. With the enforcement of a special stabilisation option, this stake can grow up to 65% and the proceeds for the state can reach 669.5 million euro, NLB said at the time.

The IPO was part of Slovenia's commitments undertaken as part of NLB's restructuring plan agreed with the European Commission in 2013. Nova Ljubljanska Banka was 100% state-owned since 2013, when the Slovenian government stepped in to recapitalise it. That same year, Slovenia committed to the European Commission to sell part of NLB.

Bertoncelj also said the government remained committed to the privatisation of Slovenia’s third biggest bank Abanka.