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NKBM Acquires Serbian Credy Bank

Kragujevac, 05 March (STA) - NKBM, Slovenia's second-largest bank, signed in Kragujevac on Friday a contract on the takeover of Credy bank, a small Serbian bank, through a EUR 10m capital injection. NKBM acquired a 55.10% stake held in Credy bank by the Serbian state, the bank said in a press release.

Serbian Finance Minister Diana Dragutinovic, who signed the contract on behalf of the government, said the capital increase at the Kragujevac-based bank was "important not only for Credy banka but for the entire Serbian financial sector, as a new investor is entering the Serbian market".

"Serbia continues to own 24.8% of Credy banka's equity and will be able to participate in further capital increases and retain the present stake," the minister added.

Chairman of NKBM Matjaz Kovacic said that entering the Serbian market was "an important step towards meeting the strategic goals of the company, which includes an expansion onto the market of SE Europe".

According to Kovacic, the size of the deal does not present any risk for NKBM. Moreover, "cooperation is also very important for the Slovenian economy, as the presence of a Slovenian bank on the Serbian market will strengthen business ties among the two countries".

Credy bank, which is part of the 14-member strong NKBM group and will continue to be based in Kragujevac, is a smaller Serbian bank with 90 branch offices in more than 40 Serbian towns.

It holds slightly more than 1% of the Serbian baking market, with total assets of just under EUR 100m. The bank recorded a pre-tax loss of around EUR 2m in the first nine months of 2009.

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