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Abanka Capital Rise Fails, To Be Repeated with Lower Share Price

Ljubljana, 12 September (STA) - The management of Slovenia's third largest bank Abanka Vipa has put on hold efforts for a EUR 50m capital increase with the issuing of fresh shares. Failing to attract investors at EUR 7 per share, Abanka plans to relaunch the capital rise with a lower share price.

Under way since 21 August, the recapitalisation effort has seen individuals subscribe for shares worth EUR 36,680 and companies for EUR 664,832 worth of new shares.

All payments made will be reimbursed within 15 days, the management of Abanka, whose share value on the Ljubljana Stock Exchange has been hovering at around EUR 5, said on Wednesday.

The management said that major shareholders of Abanka had expressed serious interest for participating in the capital increase, but failed to resolve certain limitations before the deadline for subscriptions.

Existing shareholders, which had pre-emptive right to buy new shares in the first round between 21 August and 3 September, paid in but 1.39% of the fresh share issue, raising a little less than EUR 700,000.

The biggest three shareholders - the state-owned insurer Zavarovalnica Triglav, chemicals-through tourism conglomerate Sava and the bank Gorenjska banka - own a combined 71% in Abanka Vipa.

The supervisors of Zavarovalnica Triglav, holding a 25% stake, adopted on Tuesday the decision to enable Abanka to secure the needed funds.

Banka Slovenije Governor Marko Kranjec highlighted this commitment today, adding that the central bank had information that other owners would do the same and that Abanka would be recapitalised.

"Maybe not with payments from ownership capital, but alternative solutions exist," Kranjec said on the sidelines of a session of the management board of the Slovenian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GZS).

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