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NKBM Capital Increase Begins

Maribor, 04 April (STA) - A two-stage capital increase at NKBM, Slovenia's second largest bank, began on Monday as subscription started for just over 13 million new shares that will be double-listed in Ljubljana and Warsaw. The price range has been set at between EUR 8 and EUR 10.5 per share, valuing the issue at up to EUR 132.4m.

In the first round of the public offering shares will be offered to existing shareholders in proportion to their holdings.

Any shares left over will be offered to retail and institutional investors, according to the prospectus published on Monday.

With the state as the biggest shareholder (41.5%) unlikely to take part in the capital hike, it is expected that the issue will not be bought up in the first round.

The prospectus says that about 15% of the issue will not be subscribed by existing shareholders.

No success threshold was determined for the public offering.

The final price will be determined based on demand on 14 April and NKBM expects that the shares will be listed in Ljubljana and Warsaw on 6 May.

NKBM chairman Matjaz Kovacic told the STA today that the banks wants shareholders who will "support our vision and our ambitious business strategy."

The bank thinks the offer will be attractive to both Slovenian and foreign investors.

NKBM plans to use the fresh capital to accelerate crediting of businesses and expansion to foreign markets.

A portion of the money will also be allocated for improvement of capital adequacy, Kovacic said.

NKBM finished 2010 with a profit of EUR 11.4m, but its profit before provisions and impairments stood at EUR 101m.

The share traded at EUR 9.85 in midday trading in Ljubljana today, down 2.7%.

NKBM debuted on the Ljubljana Stock Exchange on 10 December 2007 at EUR 36.61 per share and peaked at EUR 44 later that month.

This year it has been largely flat.

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