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Press Release

10.08.18

European Commission adopts decision on NLB

The European Commission has today adopted a new decision in the matter of the state aid granted to Nova Ljubljanska Banka (NLB) at the end of 2013, setting a new deadline for the privatisation of the bank and adjusting the package of compensatory measures. Slovenia must sell at least 50% plus one share of NLB by the end of 2018 and reduce its holding in NLB to the target of 25% plus one share by the end of 2019. The Ministry of Finance has expressed its satisfaction with the decision.

Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA

The decision of the European Commission was expected and represents a confirmation of the agreement reached by the technical services of the EC's Directorate-General for Competition and the Ministry of Finance and approved by the Government in the context of the confirmation of the formal proposal to amend its commitments. "We at the Ministry are satisfied with the Commission's decision because it ensures the realisation of the two fundamental goals we have followed throughout this process: maintaining NLB as an international financial institution of regional importance and conducting the sales process in such a way that the purchase price is determined by market conditions alone, ensuring the maximum return of taxpayers' money," commented Finance Minister Mateja Vraničar Erman.

 

Under the new decision of the European Commission, the commitment to sell the state's 75% holding in NLB remains valid, as does the privatisation model leading to dispersed ownership, with the state as the largest shareholder with a stake of 25% plus one share. The deadlines for the implementation of privatisation are new: the European Commission has in fact approved the sale of at least 50% of the state's holding in NLB by the end of 2018 and the remainder, down to the permitted target holding, by the end of 2019.  

 

The amendment to the commitment to sell means that the recently adopted law designed to protect the value of the state's capital investment in NLB and prevent the decisions of Croatian courts from affecting the price of the bank in the sales process can now enter into force. Significantly, today's decision by the European Commission also confirmed Slovenia's position that the compensation for the financial consequences incurred by the bank envisaged by the new law does not contain elements of state aid.

 

In the context of today's decision, the European Commission has also amended the package of compensatory measures, which, as a result of the extension of the privatisation deadline, continue to be in force both with regard to the corporate governance of the bank and with regard to the prevention of distortion of competition. The Ministry has coordinated the final range of measures with NLB, and the package has been approved by the Government.

 

Today's decision by the European Commission means that preparations for the sales process, which Slovenian Sovereign Holding (SDH) has already initiated, can continue.

 

The public part of the European Commission's decision will be published in the Official Journal of the EU as per established practice.

 

 


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