The Slovenia Times

Energy Trader Gen-I Sells EUR 30M Commercial Paper


Golob said the issue, which will improve the company's liquidity reserves, was proof that there was still enough money in Slovenia for good investments though the banking system is in trouble.

The issue was over-subscribed and the interest rate is lower than on bank loans. Though it was not marketed abroad, three foreign investors bought the paper, according to Golob.

Major Slovenian companies have been increasingly seeking funding through commercial paper after lending by banks stalled.

Retailer Mercator issued a EUR 20m commercial paper in January, its fourth issue in less than a year, while energy group Petrol had two issues, the latest worth EUR 45m last year.

Slovenian energy trader Gen-I also announced that it had entered the electricity retail market in Serbia as the first independent provider to make the move after it has already operated on the wholesale market there.

"It is very important that we are the first supplier," chairman Robert Golob told the press about the company's venture in Serbia, which liberalised its market as of 2013.

With the market newly opened, there are still "a lot of regulatory grey areas" but they are being addressed on an ongoing basis, Golob said.

Gen-I expects that the opening of the Serbian market will accelerate in the coming years.

It is currently liberalised for major customers directly connected to the transmission network, with deregulation for business customers expected in 2014 and for households in 2015.

Golob does not expect results overnight, but he said the company could capture a "noticeable" share of the 36 TWh market. "If we achieve 1 TWh in three years, we will be pleased."

Gen-I posted revenue of EUR 1.5bn for 2012, up 52.5% over the year before. Net profit inched lower to EUR 8.2m. Foreign markets account for a fifth of the revenue.


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