The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2020 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.
Banking

Central and Eastern Europe: NLB chief finds opportunities in Balkans

Slovenian market leader eyes further regional expansion after the purchase of Serbia’s Komercijalna Banka.

NLB-bank-logo-Slovenia-R-780.jpg



Waning interest in the western Balkans from emerging Europe’s biggest banking players is creating opportunities for local groups, the chief executive of Slovenia’s NLB tells Euromoney.

Blaz Brodnjak points to NLB’s acquisition of Komercijalna Banka from the Serbian state, which was announced at the end of February, as an example. 

Blaz Brodnjak_NLB_160x186

Blaz Brodnjak,
NLB 

The deal was expected to attract interest from western European groups such as Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI) and Erste. In the event, however, NLB emerged as the only serious bidder for Serbia’s fourth-largest lender.  

“The Komercijalna Banka privatization was a litmus test,” says Brodnjak, who has led NLB since 2016. “The fact that, apart from ourselves, there was no credible strategic interest in the bank shows there is little appetite for investing in the region.” 

He attributes this lack of enthusiasm to the size and complexity of markets such as Kosovo, Montenegro and Bosnia. Even Serbia, by far the largest market in the region, has a population of just seven million and total banking sector assets of €30 billion.




You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.

SUBSCRIBE ONLINE TODAY

Unlimited access to Euromoney.com and Asiamoney.com

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually

FREE 7 DAY TRIAL

Unlimited access to Euromoney.com and Asiamoney.com, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors

LOGIN NOW

Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree