(Adds details, background)
LJUBLJANA, April 16 Slovenia plans to privatise
its second-largest bank Nova KBM this year, Finance Minister
Uros Cufer said, as the government seeks to increase budget
income and improve corporate governance.
Slovenia just avoided an international bailout last year by
injecting some 3.3 billion euros ($4.56 billion) into its banks
in December, of which NKBM received 870 million euros.
NKBM was earmarked for privatisation last year, among with
another 14 state-owned firms.
In March, Slovenia chose auditing company KPMG to
perform due diligence on the lender without saying when the bank
could be sold.
"Our goal is to complete the whole transaction
(privatisation) this year," Cufer told a banking conference on
Privatisation is one of the main tasks of the centre-left
government of Prime Minister Alenka Bratusek.
Slovenia was the fastest-growing euro zone member in 2007
when it joined the monetary union but was badly hit by the
global crisis due to its dependency on exports.
Its banks, which are mostly state-owned, piled up large
amounts of bad loans through years of reckless lending. Most bad
loans of the country's three largest banks, Nova Ljubljanska
Banka, NKBM and Abanka Vipa, are due to be transferred to the
state-owned bad bank by the end of April.
($1 = 0.7234 Euros)
(Reporting By Marja Novak; Editing by Erica Billingham and