Nova Ljubljanska banka Best debt house
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Slovenia?s banking sector has been granted some protection from external competition. This has allowed Nova Ljubljanska banka to dominate the domestic market to a remarkable degree ? it has 37% of the total banking assets in the market, 34% of customer loans and 38% of deposits. NLB?s nearest rival, Nova Kreditna Bank, has failed to make significant gains on it, at least in the past 12 months.
The challenge for NLB in the next year will be to cope with the opening of Slovenian markets after accession, and dealing with more intense competition from foreign banks.
The bank is in a transition phase. Last year, a new IT system led to a payment crisis. KBC, the main investor in NLB, took the opportunity of the crisis to oust the former CEO, Marko Voljc, and replace him with Marjan Kramar. The bank has not had the strongest year, with net interest income down, in common with other accession markets. Costs for the group, according to IFRS figures, grew by Tr4 billion ($20 million). According to one set of figures on its website, net profit was up.