Bad Bank Expected to Assume First Toxic Assets

The management of the Bank Asset Management Corporation (BAMC) told the press that the transfer would take place before the end of the month.

While it was initially anticipated that the first batch would involve EUR 1.3bn in non-performing assets, BAMC executives said that the value could be slightly smaller.

The transfer is to take place in the midst of an independent asset review at three state-owned banks, which has been demanded by the European Commission.

The asset review conducted by auditing firm Deloitte is expected to be finished by the end of July and is due to be followed by separate stress tests at the banks that have been requested by the Commission.

The Commission has demanded the audits before the transfer of toxic assets as part of a process of approving state aid that use of the bad bank will represent.

The first NLB tranche will therefore be conducted at market prices to avoid it being classified as state aid, Finance Minister Uroš Čufer has said.

The tranche will be a test of the functioning of the bad bank and a signal to the international financial markets that the long-awaited process of cleaning bank balance sheets has begun.

In line with plans, the first transfer from NLB is to be followed within a week by a tranche from the state-owned NKBM bank. Abanka, another state-owned bank, is expected to begin transferring its non-performing assets to BAMC in about a month.