Slovenia bourse temporarily halts trading in bank stocks
LJUBLJANA Dec 2 (Reuters) - Slovenia's bourse suspended trade in shares and junior bonds of its troubled banks on Monday ahead of banking stress test results next week that will decide if the country needs an international bailout.
The decision by the Ljubljana Stock Exchange relates to three biggest banks, Nova Ljubljanska Banka (NLB), Nova Kreditna Banka Maribor (NKBM) and Abanka Vipa, as well as Banka Celje, Factor Banka and Probanka.
In a statement emailed to Reuters, the bourse said it had acted because of speculation on different scenarios for how the government will go about overhauling the banking system and possible impact on bank shares and junior bonds.
"Banks, the regulator and the state do not have all details and thus it is increasingly obvious that investors do not have all the information needed to make proper decisions and it is the obligation of any bourse to stop trading in such circumstances," it said.
It said the suspension would remain in force until those details become available.
Slovenian banks, mostly state-owned, are nursing some 8 billion euros ($10.89 billion) in bad loans, which equals about 23 percent of the national output.
The test results, due on December 13, will show how much new capital they need after a transfer of some 4 billion euros of bad loans to the state-owned 'bad bank' later this year and in early 2014.
They should also indicate whether Slovenia, with a population of 2 million, can afford to manage the process of recapitalising the banks or will need to become the sixth euro zone economy to take an international bailout. ($1 = 0.7345 euros) (Writing by Maja Zuvela; editing by Zoran Radosavljevic and Patrick Graham)
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