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NLB Completes EUR 300M Unsecured Bond Issue

Ljubljana, 03 July (STA) - Slovenia's biggest bank NLB has completed an issue of EUR 300m in unsecured three-year bonds, to become the first Slovenian bank in nearly five years to tap the asset market without state guarantees.

The three-year paper carries an interest rate of 2.875%, NLB said in a press release, in which it described the operation as an "important milestone in the transformation of the bank under the new management".

The funds raised will be used for financing current operations and diversifying financing sources by repaying some of the existing facilities.

"This is an encouraging sign that the bank is managing to restore international trust," NLB chairman Janko Medja said in a statement.

Chief financial officer Arhibald Kremser said that the transaction was aimed at utilising the favourable conditions on bond markets.

More than 40 investors are said to have expressed interest, in what the bank said was a large show of interest in the bond.

Almost 70% of the issue was purchased by asset managers, with the rest going to pension funds, insurers, banks and other investors. British investors accounted for 77% of the total issue, the bank said.

The bond due for repayment on 3 July 2017 has been given a BB- rating by Fitch and Standard & Poors. It will be listed on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange.

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