April 3, 2019 / 10:28 AM / 17 days ago

Slovenian banks increase profits, reduce bad loans in January

LJUBLJANA, April 3 (Reuters) - Slovenian banks posted a combined net profit of 35.8 million euros ($40.3 million) in January, up 5.5 percent compared with the same month last year, the Bank of Slovenia said in its monthly report on Wednesday.

It added that banks had reduced the amount of non-performing loans on their books to 1.7 billion euros, or 3.9 percent of all loans, down from 4 percent a month before and 5.7 percent in January 2018.

“The growth of profit ... is a result of a positive growth of net interest rate income, solid growth of non-interest-rate income, stagnation of operational costs and the release of provisions for bad loans,” the central bank said.

It added that balance sheet assets had risen by 2.5 percent year-on-year while loans to the non-banking sector were up by 3.3 percent.

Slovenia, which narrowly avoided having to accept an international bailout for its banks in 2013, plans to sell its third-largest bank, Abanka, by the middle of this year.

Other banks are mostly owned by foreign banks and investors, including US investment firm Apollo Global Management, France’s bank Societe Generale, Italy’s Unicredit and Intesa Sanpaolo, Russia’s Sberbank , Austria’s Sparkasse and Addiko Bank and Serbian AIK. ($1 = 0.8893 euros) (Reporting By Marja Novak; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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