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Small Shareholders Want Safeguards in Case of NKBM Privatisation

Maribor, 06 May (STA) - An association of small shareholders demanded safeguards Monday after Prime Minister Alenka Bratušek suggested in a recent interview that NKBM bank might be slated for privatisation as part of the government's efforts to raise much needed revenue.

The government has promised it would privatise one bank and Bratušek said in an interview for Croatian daily Jutarnji list Saturday that her "personal wish" was that NKBM, Slovenia's second largest bank, be sold.

The Association of Small Shareholders (MDS) said in a statement Monday they were not opposed to a "transparent sale", but they demand that the NKBM file lawsuits over several controversial deals after the 2007 initial public offering.

The money recovered would then be placed in a special fiduciary account from which all shareholders on the books prior to the privatization would be compensated.

The association also demands safeguards from potential buyers regarding the bank's future course, and clear criteria on which NKBM assets will be transferred onto the bad bank.

The demands are based on the fact that the 97,000 small shareholders of NKBM had been diluted after several rounds of recapitalisation which saw the state stake in NKBM rise from 50% to almost 88%.

A forthcoming new round of recapitalisation could push the state stake to over 90%.

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