Slovenia's NLB best bidder for Serbia's Komercijalna Banka

FILE PHOTO: Slovenia's national flag flutters next to Nova Ljubljanska Banka (NLB) building in Ljubljana July 23, 2012. REUTERS/Srdjan Zivulovic/File Photo

BELGRADE (Reuters) - Slovenia's largest lender Nova Ljubljanska Banka (NLB) placed the best bid in the sale of Serbia's second-largest lender Komercijalna Banka KMBN.BEL, Serbia's finance ministry said on Monday.

“The NLB placed the best bid and is invited to start negotiations about the sale contract,” the ministry said in a statement.

It did not give any details about the offer and has not said who the other bidders were.

In May, the ministry announced the sale of a majority stake in Komercijalna Banka.

After it bought back 34.58% of shares last month from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the International Finance Corporation, the government owns 83.23% of the ordinary shares of Komercijalna Banka.

In the first half of 2019, Komercijalna Banka reported a 20% rise in profit to 4.3 billion Serbian dinars ($40.6 million).

Reporting by Ivana Sekularac; Editing by Mark Potter