Ljubljana, 19 March (STA) – The Slovenian banking sector made EUR 10m in pre-tax profit in January, the central bank said on Tuesday, after a session of its board. This comes a month after initial estimates showed that Slovenia’s banks generated a pre-tax loss of EUR 606m in 2012.

Banka Slovenije board also approved its audited results for 2012. Slovenia’s central bank finished the year with a surplus of income over expenditure amounting to EUR 131.9m, which was a significant improvement over EUR 17.1m in 2011.

The central bank said in a press release that bank operations remained under the influence of the same factors that affected them in the previous year, including limited access to foreign funding and the economic crisis.

The persisting decrease in crediting activity continued also in January. The total assets of Slovenian banks dropped by 6.6% compared to January 2012.

The decrease was a result of the banks’ deleveraging abroad. This was also one of the reasons for the continuing decrease in crediting activity, the central bank said.

The banks repaid EUR 171m of liabilities toward foreign banks and EUR 78m of liabilities toward the Eurosystem.

As regards funding, state deposits continued to drop in January, while deposits by citizens increased for the third consecutive months.

In January, loans to the non-banking sector dropped by 6.8% year-on-year. The decrease was recorded in all segments with the exception of the state, said the press release.

January also saw a drop in consumer loans and a stagnation in housing loans, the central bank said, adding that the decrease was the consequence of lesser demand.

Persisting increase in non-profitable claims slowed down in early 2013, according to Banka Slovenije. In January, non-profitable claims accounted for 14.6% of all claims.

Highest non-profitable claims were recorded toward companies in construction, while the fastest growing claims were seen toward financial brokerage firms and non-monetary financial institutions, such as holdings.