The Slovenia Times

Govt Amends Bank Law to Enable NLB Recapitalisation


The amendments will be sent to parliament in fast-track procedure in order to enable recapitalisation at NLB by the 30 June deadline set by the European Banking Authority (EBA) and Slovenia's central bank, Banka Slovenije.

The amendments will allow the bank to issue convertible bonds as part of its recapitalisation drive, Finance Minister Janez Šušteršič told the press after the cabinet session.

By allowing NLB to issue convertible bonds, the government "will buy extra time to fully wrap up efforts to find private investors" for the privatisation of NLB, said Šušteršič.

According to him, allowing the NLB to issue convertibles is a provisional solution that will be in place until the end of the year.

Šušteršič said such provisional solutions for carrying out capital increases at banks were permitted by the EBA.

Speaking about interest in NLB from private investors, Šušteršič said that talks were still ongoing with several investors and that several agreements had been reached.

"We expect that in the coming week or fortnight we will be able to present these agreements," he said.

Meanwhile, the government opted today not to adopt changes that would raise the takeover threshold for banks to 50% from the general 33% limit set down in the takeover act.

The cabinet also adopted a decision to ask parliament to grant it authority to participate directly at the upcoming general assemblies of NLB and the fellow state-owned NKBM bank.

If parliament approves the request under a new provision of legislation dealing with state asset management, the cabinet will be able to appoint officials to represent state interests at the general assemblies in place of the Capital Assets Management Agency (AUKN).

Šušteršič explained that this would ensure the best representation of state interests in a delicate period for the banks. "Given previous cases of general assemblies where the government and AUKN were out of sync, we don't want to take any risks," he said.


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