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Call Issued for Indication of Interest to Buy NKBM (adds)

Maribor/Ljubljana, 22 May (STA) - The Slovenian Restitution Fund (SOD), acting on behalf of the state, has issued a call for the expression of interest in the acquisition of the 100% stake in NKBM, Slovenia's second bank.

Prospective buyers have until 3 July to submit tentative bids, according to the notice published in Thursday's edition of the business daily Finance.

The procedure will be run by SOD, which is managing state assets until Slovenia Sovereign Holding becomes fully operational. US financial advisory Lazard Freres has been selected to oversee a two-stage sale procedure.

Interested parties can express interest by email to interest.nkbm@lazard.fr. Lazard Freres will refer the presentation prospectus at the request of interested parties.

Once a non-disclosure agreement is signed, the parties will be sent a process letter containing detailed demands for the submission of a tentative bid and other details of procedure as well as an information memorandum.

NKBM is the parent company of the second largest banking group in the country with a 11.3% market share by assets and a 14.1% market share in terms of client deposits, according to the the notice.

The bank is also operates a leasing subsidiary in Croatia and owns KBM Banka AD Kragujevac in Serbia, as well as Slovenian postal bank PBS.

The bank, which received a capital injection of EUR 870m in late 2013 as part of the state bailout of Slovenian banks, is on the list of 15 firms to be privatised that was endorsed by parliament in June 2013.

The boost of the balance sheet and the quality of its assets would enable the bank to focus on retail banking and servicing small and medium sized Slovenia in the coming years.

State officials have often expressed their wish for NKBM to be sold as early as this year.

NKBM has transferred non-performing claims at the nominal value of EUR 1.22bn to the Bank Asset Management Company for a third of the book value. The process was completed with the transfer of documentation a few days ago.

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