Slovenian bank NKBM swings to first-half profit

LJUBLJANA Thu Aug 28, 2014 12:32pm EDT

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LJUBLJANA Aug 28 (Reuters) - Slovenia's second-largest bank Nova KBM (NKBM) swung to a first-half net profit of 20.9 million euros ($27.5 million) from a 62.7 million euro loss a year earlier, it said on Thursday, citing lower costs and higher interest income.

The state-owned bank, which is slated for privatisation, also said its balance sheet assets fell to 4.5 billion euros at the end of June, down by 6 percent from the end of 2013.

The bank confirmed its May forecast for a group net loss of 900,000 euros at the end of 2014 because of new provisions for bad loans.

NKBM, which was bailed out by the government in December, suffered a loss of 648.4 million euros last year because of its heavy burden of bad loans.

Slovenia's state investment firm SDH, which is in charge of selling state assets, this month invited investors to submit binding bids for NKBM by October.

A source told Reuters in July that Hungary's OTP bank is likely to bid, but OTP declined to comment.

The Slovenian government narrowly avoided an international bailout for its banks in December, when it injected 3.3 billion euros into the country's mostly state-owned banks. (1 US dollar = 0.7590 euro) (Reporting By Marja Novak; Editing by David Goodman)

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