The Slovenia Times

Economic Overview


On 14 September, Sonja Šmuc, Executive Director of the Managers' Association, was appointed as the new Director General of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GZS).

Šmuc, who is succeeding long-standing GZS boss, Samo Hribar Milič, said upon confirmation of her four-year term by the Chamber's Executive Board, that GZS needs to serve as a cornerstone in efforts to raise everyone's quality of life. Šmuc feels that bureaucracy and excessive regulation come at a price that has a significant impact on a country's competitiveness. She is proposing a pact by all stakeholders, to pursue the joint goal of raising added value per employee by 30 percent to 45 percent by 2025. Šmuc expects a constructive attitude from the trade unions with whom talks will be held on health reform and older workers, while the primary focus areas for cooperation with the government will be the tax system, labour market and zoning legislation.

NKBM completes acquisition of Summit Leasing

NKBM bank has completed the acquisition of Summit Leasing Slovenia, one of the biggest leasing houses in the country, six months after the transaction was announced. The bank said that the takeover was a key stepping stone on the path toward becoming the leading universal bank in the country.

Summit Leasing will be an independent unit of the NKBM group. Existing management and all of the employees will stay with the company, which will now have access to fresh capital, with NKBM having said that this will improve its development prospects. Summit Leasing Director, Mitja Otorepec, said the bank's broad distribution network would facilitate the cross-selling of services to drive future growth. Summit Leasing Slovenija was acquired in March by Biser Bidco, a company established by US private equity fund Apollo, and the EBRD for the acquisition by NKBM.

Moody's changes outlook for NLB, NKBM and Abanka to positive

Moody's, the rating agency, has changed the outlook on the deposit ratings of Slovenian banks NLB, NKBM and Abanka from stable to positive.
The agency said the latest rating action was prompted by the change in its macro profile for Slovenia from "moderate" to "moderate+", as well as the continued improvement in the credit fundamentals of the banks. The agency also affirmed the June ratings of the three banks; at Ba1 for NLB, Ba2 for NKBM and Ba1 for Abanka.

Minister says talks with Magna under way, contract ready in few weeks

The Minister for the Economy, Zdravko Počivalšek, announced in mid-September that agreement on the majority of the contract conditions related to the investment planned by Magna had been reached at a meeting with representatives of the auto giant.
The Minister expects the contract will be signed by the end of October. Speaking at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GZS), the Minister said that this is a strategic investment contract for an investment exceeding EUR 100m, is projected to secure at least 1,000 new jobs, provides EUR 18m in government support and defines the consequences of a cancellation of the project.


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