The Slovenia Times

Banka Celje Asks for State Aid


The bank said on Wednesday that it had already sent the request for state aid together with a restructuring plan to the Slovenian central bank.

If the restructuring plan is okayed by Slovenian authorities, the request for state aid will be sent to Brussels for approval.

However, unlike in the case of the top three Slovenian banks that have already been nationalised, not all junior bondholders of Banka Celje would be wiped out.

According to a recent report in the newspaper Dnevnik, a proposal of state aid for Banka Celje envisages a conversion of junior bonds to shares.

Details of such a scenario are yet to be determined in talks with the European Commission.

Banka Celje needs to be recapitalised by 30 June.

The capital hike was ordered after stress tests last December showed a capital shortfall of EUR 388m under the worst case scenario.

If bailed out, Banka Celje will become the sixth Slovenian bank to be bailed out by the government.

Since last September, two small banks (Factor banka, Probanka) have been liquidated and the three top ones recapitalised and nationalised (NLB, NKBM, Abanka).

The Finance Ministry says it has enough money set aside from the recent bond issues to finance further bank restructuring measures.

Recent media reports suggest the most likely scenario for Banka Celje was a tie-up with Abanka and subsequent privatisation.

Last year, Banka Celje posted a net loss of EUR 126.3m in 2013, which is almost five times more than in 2012.


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