December 20, 2017 / 3:53 PM / 2 months ago

Slovenia keeps Deutsche Bank as advisor on NLB privatisation

LJUBLJANA, Dec 20 (Reuters) -

* Deutsche Bank will continue to advise Slovenia on the privatisation of the country’s largest bank Nova Ljubljanska Banka (NLB), the government privatisation body Slovenian Sovereign Holding (SDH) said on Wednesday.

* The decision to keep Deutsche Bank on may suggest the government aims to put NLB up for sale soon after a national election next year.

* Deutsche Bank had been advising Slovenia on the sale since April 2016 until the government abandoned a planned sale in June this year, saying the expected prices, which valued the whole bank at a minimum of 1.1 billion euros ($1.3 bln), was too low.

* Slovenia agreed to sell 75 percent of NLB by the end of 2017 in exchange for the European Commission’s approval of state aid to the bank in 2013.

* However, the three parties in the centre-left coalition government oppose an immediate sale, with analysts saying the parties fear a sale could hurt them in the run up to the election, expected early next June, as voters may see state ownership of the bank as in the national interest.

* Slovenia is in talks with the European Commission to postpone the sale of a majority stake in NLB until 2019.

$1 = 0.8426 euros Reporting By Marja Novak; Editing by Susan Fenton

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