The Slovenia Times

Privatisation of NLB bank planned to be launched next year


SSH chairman Marko Jazbec told the press on Thursday that the custodian of state assets would like the government to confirm the plan by the end of the year, so that privatisation of NLB could be launched in 2016.

The national asset management strategy, envisaging the sale of the bank by 2017, is relatively restrictive, as it envisages initial public offering (IPO) as the privatisation method, according to him.

"We will try to agree with the government on an expansion of possible ways of sale," Jazbec said, adding that the timetable for the sale, in which the state would retain a controlling stake, was "relatively tight".

The experience with the sale of the NKBM bank suggests that in the planned privatisation of NLB, one of the main issues will be a relatively high share of bad loans in the group's portfolio. Some of the risks also stem from succession issues, according to Jazbec.

"The privatisation procedure will be a procedure of serious restructuring of the bank...with the purpose of minimising all risks from the balance sheets of the NLB group to secure maximum yield for taxpayers."

Regarding the sale of NKBM to the US-based Apollo fund and the European Bank for Restructuring and Development (EBRD), Jazbec is an optimist, as he expects the procedure to be completed and financial transaction done by the end of March 2016.

He said that a majority of SSH activities in the financial sector was focused on sale of banks, adding that the approach was different when it comes to insurance industry. "Insurers' strong market positions at home should be maintained and they should be encouraged to internationalise further."

When it comes to gaming industry, the holding would like to see the relevant legislation changed so as to allow more private capital, including foreign capital, to enter the sector as part of privatisation.


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