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NKBM Gearing Up for Recapitalisation, EBRD Mentioned as Possible Investor

Maribor, 27 March (STA) - After intensively cleaning its credit portfolio last year, Slovenia's second-largest bank, NKBM, is now getting ready for recapitalisation scheduled to be completed by the end of June. Unofficially, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is to enter the bank.

NKBM did not wish to comment on the unofficial information obtained by the STA that the EBRD may become an owner of up to 20% of the bank, saying that the news could be "neither confirmed nor rejected".

The bank added that it was holding talks with several potential investors.

Currently, the bank is wrapping up the process of selecting the book runner for the issue of fresh shares.

NKBM CEO Aleš Hauc said last week as NKBM received a EUR 100m hybrid loan as a means of beefing up its balance sheet, "the extra capital will improve the bank's position on financial markets, which will benefit its clients and the shareholders".

"We are strengthening our capital adequacy in a comprehensive, sustainable and professional way. Apart from getting ready for recapitalisation we are also actively working on improving our management of risks, bad claims and on providing quality solutions for our customers," Hauc added.

NKBM posted a larger-than-expected operating loss of EUR 203.3m in 2012.

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