The Slovenia Times

NKBM with New EUR 400M Recapitalisation


NKBM chairman Aleš Hauc told reporters that the state-owned bank had filed the lawsuits based on a forensic investigation of past deals, but would not reveal any names.

He said a broad circle of people were involved and that something like that must not happen again at the bank. He announced new suits to follow in the autumn, so the damages figure was likely to increase.

Hauc had in the past been under pressure, in particular from small shareholders, to sue former executives and supervisors for the massive losses incurred due to questionable business decisions.

Addressing reporters after the shareholders' meeting, the chairman said the bank could be fully restructured and could return to profit in the coming three years.

In pursuit of the goal, the management had been reducing costs "in all fields of operation while preserving the quality of services for clients".

Hauc announced the headcount would be cut by 300-400 over the next three years. In July the bank would have a leaner and more effective organisational structure with fewer managerial staff with less bonuses.

The chairman also announced that the bank's bad loans would soon be transferred to the Bank Asset Management Company, i.e. the bad bank.

The shareholders today appointed Aljoša Tomaž a new supervisor after Duška Jurenec withdrew from the post for failing to win discharge of liability for the past year, along with former supervisory board chairman Dušan Jovanovič.

Under the EUR 400m capital hike proposal endorsed, the management will be able to increase the bank's share capital with the consent of the supervisory board by up to that amount over the next five years.

The recapitalisation would be applied to maintain the appropriate structure and quality of the bank's capital and maintain the capital adequacy ratio above the regulatory minimum.

Small shareholders announced they would challenge in court the adopted proposal as it enables the management on SOD's proposal to exclude priority rights of exiting shareholders to new shares if the state or associated companies subscribe for new shares.

After the conversion of EUR 100m of hybrid bonds, the state owns 79.44% of NKBM directly, up from 27.66%. Another 3.7% is held by the state-owned energy company Gen Energija and postal company Pošta Slovenije.

A representative of small shareholders, Kristjan Verbič, said the state was ridiculing the citizens, especially those who paid in new shares five years ago at EUR 27 per share.

"The recapitalisation was annulled, while on the other hand the bank was taken over at 36 cents per share, which is a signal at what price we are likely to be squeezed out.

"The state should be the first to see to the protection of shareholders' rights and the functioning of the capital market, but has instead arrived at the meeting with the counter proposal that means a total devaluation of shares and dilution of ownership structure," Verbič said.

NKBM is included in the list of 15 companies that the government slated for privatisation.


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