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Awards

CEE's best bank transformation 2019: NLB

Awards for Excellence 2019

The successful IPO of Slovenia’s NLB in London and Ljubljana in November marked the end of a six-year restructuring process and set the stage for a new era of expansion by the group.

Along with the rest of Slovenia’s state-owned banks, NLB hit the buffers in 2012 when large portfolios of corporate loans began to turn sour.

The following year the Slovenian government spent €3 billion recapitalizing the country’s public-sector lenders – including market leader NLB – and transferred €5 billion worth of non-performing loans to a newly created bad bank.

Even after selling €2 billion of impaired loans to the state, however, NLB had an non-performing loan ratio of 25.5% at the end of 2014. This was partly due to bad debts in the group’s five-country Balkan network, which were not eligible for purchase by Slovenia’s asset management company.

In Serbia, where NLB had made ill-advised purchases of two small banks before the global financial crisis, NPLs accounted for more than two-thirds of outstanding loans by the end of 2013.

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