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Slovenia receives expressions of interest in bank NKBM -report
July 3, 2014 / 7:02 AM / 3 years ago

Slovenia receives expressions of interest in bank NKBM -report

LJUBLJANA, July 3 (Reuters) - Slovenia has received six expressions of interest regarding the purchase of its second-largest bank Nova KBM (NKBM), newspaper Delo said on Thursday.

Thursday is the deadline for non-binding bids for 100 percent of the state-owned bank, which received a state capital injection of 870 million euros in December.

Delo said two banks and four investment funds were interested in NKBM, adding Hungarian bank OTP could be interested in the purchase.

“Bank OTP constantly seeks opportunities for takeovers, particularly in countries where it is present already but where it has a small market stake,” OTP told Delo without giving a direct answer regarding whether it would be interested in buying NKBM.

OTP, which is not present in Slovenia so far, gave no immediate comment to Reuters.

State investment firm SDH, which is in charge of the sale, and advisers Lazard Freres, also gave no immediate comment to Reuters.

Legal expert Miro Cerar, who is in the best position to become Slovenia’s next prime minister according to opinion polls, told Reuters on Wednesday that he was in favour of the sale of NKBM and expected the bank to be sold by the end of the year.

Slovenia, which narrowly avoided an international bailout in December, will hold its second snap election in a row on July 13 because the outgoing centre-left Prime Minister Alenka Bratusek resigned in May after she lost the battle for the leadership of the Positive Slovenia party.

Slovenia has so far been reluctant to sell its largest banks so the government still controls most of the sector.

Reporting by Marja Novak; editing by Jason Neely

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