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LJUBLJANA (Slovenia), October 8 (SeeNews) – Slovenia's state-owned lender Nova Ljubljanska banka (NLB) announced on Monday the publication of a registration document related to its potential intention to float on the Ljubljana Stock Exchange (LJSE) and the London Stock Exchange (LSE).
The announcement of publication of the registration document has been submitted to Info Storage, the officially appointed mechanism for the central storage of regulated information in Slovenia, NLB said in a statement posted on the website of the LJSE.
NLB potentially intends to apply to the LJSE for admission of the shares to trading on the Prime Market sub-segment of the Slovenian exchange, and to the United Kingdom Financial Conduct Authority for global depositary receipts (GDRs) of NLB to be admitted to listing on the official list of FCA; and to the LSE for admission to trading of the GDRs on the LSE's main market for listed securities.
“We look forward to the opportunities and benefits of being a listed company, welcome our new shareholders and thank them in advance for their trust in NLB Group and our team,” Blaz Brodnjak, president of the management board of NLB, said in the statement.
“This announcement represents a very important milestone for NLB Group. It has throughout the last years evolved into a sustainably profitable and client-oriented universal financial services provider, focused on Slovenia and the Southeastern Europe,” Brodnjak added.
The NLB Group is a financial and banking institution based in Slovenia with a network of 349 branches as at 30 June 2018, of which 108 branches operate in Slovenia and 241 operate in the banking markets of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia.
The NLB Group recorded a net profit attributable to shareholders equal to 104.8 million euro ($120.7 million) in the first half of 2018.
Slovenia's government said in July it has decided to launch an initial public offering (IPO) of NLB by the end of 2018. The government aims to sell at least 50% plus one share of the capital of NLB through an IPO by the end of the year and to dispose of a further 25% plus one share in 2019, it said back then.
NLB showed a minor capital shortfall under the adverse scenario of the stress test conducted by the European Central Bank in October 2014.
NLB has been 100% state-owned since 2013, when the Slovenian government stepped in to recapitalise it and two other lenders - NKBM and Abanka, narrowly avoiding an international bailout. The same year, Slovenia committed to the European Commission to sell part of NLB within four years.
In April, the European Commission said the aid granted to NLB by Slovenia in 2013 is unlawful because the government has failed to deliver on its commitment to sell the bank by the end of 2017.
The partial sale of Slovenia's shares in NLB is a key commitment to ensure NLB's long-term viability, on the basis of which the Commission was able to approve significant state aid to NLB in December 2013, the European Commission said at the time.
($ = 0.86783 euro)