Ljubljana, 31 March (STA) - The DBS bank saw its gross profit slump by 75% to EUR 402,000 in 2009, while total assets rose by 9% to EUR 911m. However, chairman Stefan Belingar told reporters on Wednesday that operating results for the first quarter of this year were much better.
The bank projects between EUR 2.5m and EUR 3.5m in gross profit for this year, and EUR 975m in total assets by the end of the year, Belingar said at a press conference in Ljubljana.
DBS plans to to issue EUR 100m worth of five-year bonds in international financial markets in the first half of the year to restructure its sources to extend their maturity. The government approved the guarantee for the issue last week.
The date of the issue depends on the question of tax on interest payable, Belingar said, voicing hope the Finance Ministry would not tax interest paid by banks for loans hired abroad.
DBS is awaiting ownership changes as its second biggest owner, KD Group, has indicated it would like to offload its 35% stake. "There is nothing going on at the moment though," Belingar said, adding that all prospective buyers come from abroad.
He believes the cooperatives, which hold a 54% stake in the bank and control about 65% together with friendly firms, will stay a majority owner in the long term. The bank will remain focused on retail banking, legal entities, securities and farmers.
As of March it offers loans for the construction of solar plants, a product mainly intended for the farming sector. It has recently been licensed by the central bank for the marketing of insurance policies.
The bank also pays out state aid to farmers hit by natural disasters. It is the only provider for the sale of numismatic values, that is special edition and collector's items issued by the central bank.