The government of Republic of Slovenia is preparing to privatize the country’s largest bank, Nova Ljubljanska Banka (NLB), rather than keeping a share in public hands as previously announced, local media quoted Finance Minister Janez Sustercic as saying Thursday, ANSAmed reports.
”Our intention of keeping a 25% share has turned out to be an obstacle in our search for a buyer,” the minister explained, paving the way to a sell-off of the troubled lender pending a green light from parliament. The government currently holds 59% of NLB, which has suffered under the economic crisis. KBC Bank N.V. from Belgium holds another 22%, with the rest in the hands of small investors.
In an effort to restructure the nation’s ailing banking sector, parliament in October green-lit the creation of a so-called ”bad bank” to take on toxic or uncollectible debts, a strategy which was harshly criticized by the center-left opposition.