September 6, 2019 / 4:29 PM / 11 days ago

UPDATE 1-Slovenia's NLB bank reports 10% drop in first half net profit

(Updates with quote, details)

LJUBLJANA, Sept 6 (Reuters) - Slovenia’s largest bank NLB reported group net profit of 94.3 million euros ($104 million) for the first half of 2019 on Friday, down from 104.8 million a year ago, mainly due to new provisions for bad loans and higher costs.

Slovenia sold 75% of NLB to international investors in 2018 and earlier this year to fulfil a commitment to the European Union which approved state aid for the bank in 2013. The government plans to keep 25% of the bank in its hands to have a say in future business decisions.

During the first half of the year bad loans fell to 6% of all loans from 8.3% a year ago. New provisions for bad loans amounted to 5.5 million euros while costs were up by 1%.

“Economic growth in the region is slowing down. Exports of goods and services are weaker due to economic slowdown on the main export markets,” NLB said.

NLB has subsidiaries in Serbia, Bosnia, Kosovo, North Macedonia and Montenegro. ($1 = 0.9056 euros) (Reporting By Marja Novak; Editing by Susan Fenton and Elaine Hardcastle)

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