LJUBLJANA, July 9 (Reuters) - Euro zone member Slovenia auctioned state guarantees on Thursday worth 100 million euros ($139.2 million) to six local banks for corporate lending, the finance ministry said.
The ministry also said it would offer state guarantees of up to 350 million euros for housing loans to citizens and for loans to those in need after losing their jobs.
“In this way we will give a stimulus to the real estate market,” Finance Minister France Krizanic told a news conference.
At Thursday’s auction the ministry said the state would guarantee at most 35 percent of the related loans, unchanged from the previous auction two weeks ago.
The banks that received guarantees were Abanka Vipa ABKN.LJ, Dezelna Banka, Gorenjska banka and Nova Ljubljanska Banka, which is 30.6 percent owned by Belgian banking and insurance group KBC (KBC.BR).
Slovenian units of Austria’s Raiffeisen International Bank RIBH.VI and Italy’s UniCredit (CRDI.MI) were also among those that received guarantees out of a total of 10 banks that participated at the auction.
The government had said it would offer guarantees with a total value of 1.2 billion euros for bank loans to companies in order to improve financial liquidity in the country, which was badly hit by the global financial crisis. So far, a total of 310 million euros of guarantees have been awarded.
Slovenia, which was the fastest-growing euro zone member over the past two years, expects its economy to shrink by 4 percent this year. Unemployment has been rising steeply and reached 8.8 percent in April.
According to the government’s Institute of Macroeconomic Analysis and Development, Slovenian bank net loans to the non-banking sector dropped 75 percent year-on-year in the first five months of 2009 to 661.2 million euros. (Reporting by Marja Novak, editing by Will Waterman) ($1=.7184 Euro)