Slovenian Abanka renews capital hike attempt
LJUBLJANA, Sept 25
LJUBLJANA, Sept 25 (Reuters) - Abanka Vipa, one of the three local banks whose bad loans have triggered fear Slovenia may need international aid, will try to raise capital through a new share issue but will demand a lower price than in a failed attempt two weeks ago.
The bank will issue shares at 4.2 euros per share, compared to 7 euros demanded in the previous share offer that fell through due to lack of interest, Abanka did not specify when the new issue would take place.
The bank hopes to issue new shares to the value of 90 million euros ($116.24 million), but said at least 50 million euros of new shares would have to be sold for the issue to be successful.
Abanka is the third-largest Slovenian bank. It is partly state-owned and has market capitalisation of 28.9 million euros.
It also plans to issue a subordinated debt in the value of 25 million euros, which is expected to be bought by Abanka's largest stakeholder, state-owned insurance company Zavarovalnica Triglav.
Finance Minister Janez Sustersic said last week Slovenia may need to provide up to 1 billion euros of fresh capital for its ailing banks.
The government also plans to form a new company DUTB which will take over bad debts of state-owned banks in exchange for state guaranteed bonds in order to ease the credit crunch in the country. It also plans to speed up bank privatisation.
Slovenian banks together hold some 6.4 billion euros of bad loans or about 17.5 percent of GDP. Abanka did not disclose the amount of its bad loans but said it had no further obligations to foreign investors after a recent repayment of its bond to the value of 282 million euros.
By 0810 GMT Abanka shares had fallen 1.75 percent to 3.94 euros while the blue-chip SBI index gained 1.15 percent. ($1 = 0.7743 euros) (Reporting By Marja Novak; editing by Zoran Radosavljevic and Louise Heavens)