The Slovenia Times

Economy Overview



Ratings agencies improve outlook for NLB

In December 2018, the rating agency, Standard and Poor's (S&P), upgraded the outlook for NLB bank from developing to positive, while affirming the long-term issuer credit rating at BB+ for Slovenia's largest bank. According to a release from NLB, the rating is based on the bank's strong performance and the partial privatisation.

The upgrade reflects those of Moody's and Fitch which upgraded their ratings by two notches to Baa2 and by one notch to BB+, respectively. Moody's kept the outlook on the long-term deposit ratings positive and Fitch revised its outlook from evolving to stable. The rating agencies started to improve NLB's ratings following the partial privatisation of the bank in which the state reduced its stake in the bank to 35% following a successful initial public offering in November 2018.



Adria Airways gets EUR 4m capital injection

Brnik, 7 December - 4K Invest, the German owner of Adria Airways, finalised a EUR 4m capital injection in to the Slovenian carrier, with a planned EUR 10m recapitalisation still in the pipeline for the first quarter of 2019, Adria stated.

According to the company's release, the funds will be used for development and growth. This time, Adria apparently received cash as opposed to the previous accounting manoeuvres by the owner, according to news portal, Siol. Siol also reported that 4K Invest had reclaimed the Adria trademark which, in 2016, it had sold to a company connected to the German fund. With the sale, Adria avoided insolvency. The troubled carrier, which was close to losing its licence due to financial issues, has been facing additional trouble recently. There were reports about Adria having to cut short a flight from Hurghada to Ljubljana due to a lack of fuel, while an aircraft had to return to Ljubljana Airport shortly after take-off due to "indications of smoke onboard the plane".

Adria posted a net loss of EUR 5.4m in 2017 after finishing in the black the year before due to the sale of its brand. Last year's negative result was attributed to rising fuel prices as well as to the termination of cooperation with two European carriers. The company announced in October that it would not manage to get out of the red this year either, mostly due to high fuel prices.


Brnik, Adria Airways (Photo: Tamino Petelinšek/STA)


Koper rail track investment plan to be ready soon

The government is due to discuss the investment plan for the second rail track between the Port of Koper and the inland hub of Divača early next year, according to Infrastructure Minister Alenka Bratušek on 7 December 2018. She said that "we have never been so close to actually starting construction".

Talking at an end-of-year event at the port operator, Luka Koper, she said that all the relevant bodies would get the document before the end of the year. She added that the previous team at her ministry had often said that everything was ready for construction to begin. "But my team at the ministry realised quite quickly that everything was not that peachy".

Until September 2018, the Ministry was headed by Peter Gašperšič of the now junior coalition, Modern Centre Party (SMC), while Jure Leben, now the Minister of Environment and Spatial Planning, was in charge of the second rail track project. Now, three months into her term and after intensive work, the ministry is close to completing the investment program that will allow construction to start. Currently, archaeological teams are being dispatched to seven locations along the planed course of the track. The archaeologists are expected to finish their work by spring. Several rounds of preliminary excavations have already been performed along the course since 2009.


Infrastructure Minister Alenka Bratušek addressed port operator, Luka Koper, at a reception held before the end of the year. (Photo: Mitja Volčanšek/STA)


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