The Slovenia Times

NLB Looking after Investors?


There is interest in participation in a capital hike and it has been expressed, Šušteršič told reporters. But he refused to speak about potential investors, saying only that they needed to be financially strong and possess bank management know-how.

Božo Jašovič, the outgoing NLB boss, said yesterday that potential sources of capital included the state and Belgian bank KBC as the biggest shareholders, as well as the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), and the International Finance Corporation (IFC).

Šušteršič also said the recapitalisation had to be coupled with a bank governance agreement and decisions on management. He wants the shareholders to achieve a consensus on the selection of a good board "which will not only have a mandate but also the trust of those who will make up the changed shareholder structure."

Negotiations with interested parties will be carried out by a group comprising himself and other Finance Ministry officials, the Capital Assets Management Agency (AUKN) and "all others with responsibility".

The state is the biggest shareholder of NLB, its share having risen to 45.6% last year after a capital increase funded almost entirely by the government. But the coalition agreement of the new centre-right government says that the stake should be reduced to a controlling share of 25% plus one share.

Šušteršič said the government would stick to that plan, but he said this did "not necessarily mean that we will reduce the stake so much in the first step. This is not a goal, it is a limit."

In any case, NLB must remain a key bank whose primary role is to credit businesses. "It must remain independent in its decisions, not merely relegated to the role of branch or subsidiary of another bank."


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