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SID Bank to Spend EUR 800m on Economic Recovery in 2011

Ljubljana, 25 January (STA) - The state-owned SID export and development bank gave out around EUR 1bn, directly or through commercial banks, in 2010 to boost the economic recovery. It expects to earmark EUR 800m for the cause in 2011, while shifting the focus back on financing development, SID chairman Sibil Svilan said on Tuesday.

The SID bank has played a crucial role for the Slovenian economy in fighting the crisis and at times accounted for to 75% of the total loan growth, Svilan pointed out on the sidelines of a conference on SID's activities at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GZS), adding that this was not a normal situation.

He thinks that although some economic uncertainty remains, the financial market could still return back to normal this. That way commercial banks and others financing the economy can assume their normal activities, while SID can gradually get back to its principal business of funding development.

According to Svilan, a key new measure will be a new development-promotion platform combining SID's loans with grants from the national and the EU budget, and introducing financial engineering to pool together different incentive instruments.

Everything is ready for the platform as far as SID is concerned and the government has already indicated its support, Svilan noted, but some circumstances in the budget documents and instruments still prevent implementation. Svilan hopes the Finance Ministry will solve the issues soon and bring the platforms to life.

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