The Slovenia Times

Banka Koper changing its name


The change is to take effect in about a month, the bank revealed on Tuesday.

Banka Koper CEO Giancarlo Miranda stressed that the bank's headquarters will stay in Koper.

The bank will focus on new business opportunities in the retail and corporate banking segment, on asset management, and on structured finance (investment banking), a segment that will be transferred to Ljubljana.

As part of its regional development strategy, Intesa Sanpaolo will transfer a 51% stake in Banka Koper to Croatia's Privredna banka Zagreb while keeping about 48% for itself.

Ignacio Jaquotot, the head of the international division of the Intesa Sanpaolo group's subsidiaries, said the banks would thus join forces by building on the best practices of the Croatian bank, which is also in majority ownership of Intesa Sanpaolo, and the technological know-how of the Slovenian team.

The Banka Koper management stressed that the bank had been profitable and stable even during the crisis years and that its owner had a solid position on the international markets.

Even though a name change is a sensitive matter, the bank has decided for the move because it wants to become a serious player on the entire Slovenian market, where it ranks among the top six banks in terms of market share in loans and deposits, Jaquotot said.

The supervisory boar confirmed the decision on Monday.

The bank also plans to overhaul its network of offices and introduce new services in asset management for households and companies.

"We see many opportunities on the Slovenian market, but we will not be expanding through takeovers, we are betting on organic growth," said Jaquotot. He believes the bank's stable business operations and its solid position on the market will allow for such growth.

Banka Koper was acquired by Intesa Sanpaolo in 2002. The Italian group operates in more than 40 countries and has a strong presence in Central and SE Europe and Egypt.

Banka Koper posted EUR 13.4m in profit in the first half of this year, exceeding plans by 32%. The bank employs 755 people and has 52 branches across Slovenia.


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