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Financials

EBRD says considering buying a stake in Slovenian bank NLB

LJUBLJANA, July 25 (Reuters) - The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said on Monday it would consider buying a stake in Slovenia’s largest bank, Nova Ljubljanska Banka (NLB), in the lender’s stock market flotation planned for later this year.

In a statement prepared for Reuters, the EBRD said a successful float of NLB would be a “landmark” transaction for Slovenia and it would therefore consider taking part, once the details of a deal were known.

It added it could not yet talk about what percentage of shareholding it might take.

NLB, rescued by the state in 2013, is the largest of about 30 companies and banks whose privatisation is due to start this year.

Earlier in July Slovenia postponed investor presentations on the sale of NLB due to market volatility caused by Britain’s vote to leave the EU, but said the selloff would still be completed by the end of 2017 as planned.

EBRD previously held a stake in NLB, having bought 5 percent in 2002, which it sold to a local investment firm in 2008.

Earlier on Monday the EBRD opened a 5 million euro ($5.5 million) credit facility to NLB’s subsidiary in Kosovo. Last year it purchased 20 percent of Slovenia’s third-largest bank Nova KBM (NKBM), with 80 percent of the bank being sold to U.S. investment firm Apollo. ($1 = 0.9112 euros) (Reporting by Marja Novak; Editing by David Holmes)

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