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NLB Needs Fresh Capital to Fund Construction Jobs, Minister Says

Madrid, 17 April (STA) - The capital injection NLB planned to carry out at the end of last year but later shelved will go ahead in the near future since Slovenia's biggest bank needs money to help Slovenian construction companies carry out big projects abroad, Finance Minister Franc Krizanic told STA on Saturday.

The big deals have been signed and the bank will have to be involved, which is why the capital injection is required, Krizanic said at the margins of a informal meeting of EU economy and finance ministers in Madrid.

Krizanic's comments come after several construction firms signed major deals in Libya. The biggest was signed by SCT, which will build a EUR 330m motorway section in Benghazi in NE Libya.

He would not talks about the schedule or other details of the capital supply, saying this was a matter for the management of the bank.

NLB wanted to carry out a EUR 250m capital injection in December 2009, but the two main shareholders - the state and Belgian financial group KBC - failed to agree on the plan in time.

According to the finance minister, the capital injection will be incorporated into the supplementary budget the Finance Ministry will prepare in the coming weeks.

The supplementary budget is needed to adjust Slovenia's public finances to the latest projects of growth for the year by the Institute for Macroeconomic Analysis and Development (IMAD). IMAD downgraded earlier forecasts of 0.9% growth for this year to 0.6% in its spring forecast.

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