LJUBLJANA Aug 5 Slovenia's state investment
firm SDH, which is in charge of selling state assets, on Tuesday
invited investors to submit binding bids for Slovenia's
second-largest bank Nova KBM (NKBM).
"We expect the binding bids in October. The invited bidders
are those which submitted completed bids in the first round and
offered the best purchase terms," SDH said in a statement.
It did not say who the bidders for 100 percent of
state-owned NKBM were.
According to local media, Slovenia received six non-binding
bids last month, including from two banks and four investment
funds. Hungary's OTP declined to comment on reports it
was one of the interested banks.
Selling off state-owned companies is seen as a key component
of Slovenia's ability to stabilise its finances and its economy
after the government had to spend 3 billion euros last year to
rescue troubled banks and narrowly avoided having to seek an
The outgoing government has earmarked 15 companies for
privatisation, and has already sold two of them. Others on the
list include NKBM, airport Aerodrom Ljubljana and
telecom firm Telekom.
A recently formed centre-left party SMC, led by Miro Cerar,
won the election last month but has yet to complete talks with
coalition partners on forming the new cabinet.
Slovenia, which joined the European Union in 2004 and the
euro zone in 2007, has for years been reluctant to sell
major companies, citing national interests. Its economy is still
largely state run.
(Reporting by Almir Demirovic, writing by Igor Ilic in Zagreb,
editing by David Evans)