May 11, 2017 / 12:31 PM / 2 months ago

Slovenia gets EU approval to sell 50 pct of NLB bank this year

1 Min Read

LJUBLJANA, May 11 (Reuters) - The European Commission has approved Slovenia's proposal to sell 50 percent of its largest bank Nova Ljubljanska Banka (NLB) this year rather than 75 percent as planned earlier, the Finance Ministry said.

Slovenia had committed to sell 75 percent of the bank by the end of this year to win approval from the European Commission for the state aid the bank received in 2013.

Under the proposal, Slovenia will sell at least 50 percent of the bank through an initial public offering this year while another 25 percent will be sold by the end of 2018.

The ministry said in a statement that it hoped to reach a higher price for the bank this way.

Slovenia has been reluctant in the past to sell its major banks so the government still controls about 40 percent of the banking sector.

The government plans to keep 25 percent of NLB to have a say in key business decisions.

Reporting By Marja Novak. Editing by Jane Merriman

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