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BANKING

Slovenia Best Bank: Nova Ljubljanska banka

Albania I Belarus I Bosnia & Herezegovina I Bulgaria I Croatia I Czech Republic I Georgia I Hungary I Poland I Romania I Russia I Serbia I Slovakia I Slovenia I Turkey I Ukraine Nova Ljubljanska banka maintains its top position in the Slovenian banking market, and is enjoying the post EU-accession boom, with GDP up 5.1% in Q1. NLB’s profits after tax last year were up 69%, and it is using the cash to expand abroad, buying a bank and several businesses in Serbia.

Its shareholder structure looks set to change, however. The European Bank for Reconstruction & Development wants to sell its 5% stake, and foreign shareholder KBC, which has a 33% stake, either wants to increase it to get full control of the bank or possibly sell it. The Slovenian government wants to reduce its stake in the bank but wants to keep it in Slovenian hands. It remains to be seen if this policy will damage NLB in the medium term.

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