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NKBM Sets Price of New Shares at EUR 8

Maribor, 14 April (STA) - Slovenia's second largest bank, NKBM, has set the price of its issue of fresh shares as part of last week's capital injection at EUR 8 per share, valuing the issue double-listed in Ljubljana and Warsaw at EUR 104.3m. The price in Polish zloty is expected to be determined next week, the bank said in a press release on Thursday.

The Maribor-based bank said the price has been determined based on demand from institutional investors, the current and expected situation on the Slovenian, Polish and international capital markets, assessment of potential growth, risk factors and other information related to the bank's activities.

The capital increase will be carried out in two stages. In the first round of the public offering, shares will be offered to existing shareholders in proportion to their holdings, and any shares left over will be offered to retail and institutional investors.

The prospectus envisages that around 15% of just over 13 million new shares will be subscribed by small investors.

No success threshold was set for the public offering and NKBM expects the shares to be listed in Ljubljana and Poland's Warsaw on 6 May. The bank's share ended Wednesday's trading at EUR 9.20, down 2% from Tuesday.

The bank currently has around 100,000 shareholders, with the state being the biggest shareholder with 41.5% and an additional 9.5% through state-run funds KAD and SOD.

It is still not known whether the state will take part in the capital hike. The Asset Management Agency, which manages the state's holdings in companies, called on the state to take part. What is more, the capital increase was also backed by central bank Banka Slovenije.

KAD said on Tuesday it would participate in proportion with its 4.79% stake in the bank, subscribing for 625,306 new shares. It said it was ready to increase its ownership stake by the maximum of 10%.

PM Borut Pahor also believes that NKBM needs a capital injection, arguing last week that he did not want a potential capital inadequacy of the bank to raise doubts about the stability of the Slovenian banking system.

NKBM plans to use the fresh capital to accelerate crediting of businesses, expansion to foreign markets and implementation of the bank's strategy until 2013. A portion of the money will be allocated to improve capital adequacy.

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

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.

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