Business News

Abanka Seeks EUR 50M Capital Increase

Ljubljana, 25 April (STA) - Abanka Vipa, Slovenia's third largest bank, will embark on a EUR 50m capital increase with a public share offering after reporting a EUR 119m net loss for 2011, the bank's supervisory board decided on Tuesday.

The bank will offer investors 7.14 million new shares at 7 euros apiece pending the go-ahead from the Securities Market Agency (ATVP).

The timetable will be determined in a prospectus to be released on Thursday along with the documents for the 30 May annual general meeting.

The recapitalisation will be key to the implementation of the bank's strategy until 2014, which includes a possible merger with Gorenjska banka, Abanka supervisors said in a press release.

The merger has been attempted several times over the years, but the latest attempt was blocked in February by Gorenjska banka, which expressed concern about Abanka's capital adequacy.

The merger has been promoted by the major shareholders, Zavarovalnica Triglav (25.6%) and conglomerate Sava (23.83%).

Sava is also the biggest shareholder of Gorenjska banka (49.8%) and holds the majority stake in the bank together with Triglav (4.3%).

The two banks combined would have a 12.9% share of the Slovenian banking market by assets, second only to NLB.

Abanka has lost over 40% of its value on the Ljubljana Stock Exchange so far this year. It is currently priced at 9 euros per share but not a single share has changed hands in the last three weeks.

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