Governor Confident Bank Shortfall about EUR 4BN

Banka Slovenije data shows non-performing loans amount to EUR 7.9bn, but provisions have already been made for 40% of the total, he said in an interview with Austrian journalists as reported by the APA press agency.

He labelled the EUR 4bn mark as a sort of "natural boundary" in asset quality reviews and stress tests currently being performed by Oliver Wyman, Deloitte and Ernst&Young.

In the event that the EUR 1.2bn set aside in the budget does not suffice to recapitalise the banks, Slovenia could secure the additional funds on the market, he said.

But Jazbec was apprehensive when asked about the proposal of opposition leader Janez Janša that Slovenia should borrow from the eurozone bailout mechanism instead of going to private investors, as it could secure lower interest.

"We have to ask ourselves if it is not better to pay a bit more…considering all the sacrifices that an aid programme would entail," he was quoted by APA as saying.

His statement came just hours before it was revealed that Slovenia issued an unannounced EUR 1.5bn three-year eurobond at an interest rate of around 4.7%.

Jazbec also reiterated his long-held position that bank restructuring was not enough to overcome the crisis, it is also crucial to reduce the state's role in the economy.

However, he is not in favour of across-the-board privatisation. He advocates "demonstration" sales of selected firms and managing the remaining state-owned stakes in companies under an independent Slovenia Sovereign Holding (SSH).