The Slovenia Times

Delo reflects on NLB privatisation


The paper notes that the government decided for an IPO, which means the buyers will at least to an extent be small portfolio investors, those labelled as the uninformed investors.

"You do not sell half of a bank as a loaf of bread. Above all, it is not an every day occurrence in Slovenia. What is more, the latest bank sale euphoria, the one over the shares of NKBM bank, came to a sorry end for about 5% of Slovenia's population."

For a start the paper believes that potential share buyers should be told how the situation now differs from the one in 2007, why NLB would not be a repeat of the NKBM story and what safeguards will prevent NLB helping tycoons and other abuse seen in the past.

The paper also believes that the government and the bank should present the bank's strategy and goals, noting changes in some of NLB's key markets such as that Société Générale, the owner of the Slovenian bank SKB, is withdrawing from Serbia, Macedonia, Moldavia and Albania.

"Last but not least, the government will have to make it clear why it has opted for such type of sale of NLB ... NLB should be sold in order to be allowed to perform better and so as to reduce the possibility of political interference.

"Its independence should therefore continue to make it possible for the bank to follow Slovenia's interests. The IPO should also be a signal that the state wants to stimulate the domestic capital market. So that it should provide suitable support for businesses and thus Slovenia's development," Delo writes under the headline NLB as Fit.


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