Business News

State Buys Almost Entire New Issue of NLB Stock

Ljubljana, 30 March (STA) - The state has bought up nearly all newly issued shares of NLB bank as part of a EUR 250m capital hike that ended Wednesday afternoon. The second largest shareholder, Belgian group KBC, bought only a small portion of the stock available to it under a priority right.

The government bought its entire allotment, worth EUR 82.7m, in the first round of capital raising and EUR 160.6m-worth of stock in the second round, for a total of EUR 243m, the Finance Ministry told the STA on Wednesday.

This means the state's direct holding (the state also has indirect stakes through para-state funds) will rise significantly above the current level of 33.1%.

The final figures will be out in the coming days, but the figures confirm media reports that KBC would only buy enough stock to retain a stake of above 25%, down from 30.57% at the present. KBC bought EUR 4.95m-worth of stock in the first round.

The Finance Ministry said that the purchase of stock exceeding its current proportional shareholding (which had been approved by the European Commission) ensured the successful completion of the capital raising and helped meet the central bank's demands for better capital adequacy.

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