LJUBLJANA, July 12 (Reuters) - Slovenia hopes to get European Commission approval to postpone the sale of its largest bank, state-owned Nova Ljubljanska Banka (NLB), until the end of 2020, sources close to the matter said on Wednesday.
Slovenia has committed to selling off 50 percent of NLB this year and another 25 percent in 2018 in exchange for the Commission’s approval of state aid to the bank in 2013.
However, the government last month abandoned the planned sale of 50 percent of NLB through an initial public offering, saying the suggested price, which valued NLB at between 1.1 and 1.4 billion euros ($1.26 to $1.60 billion), was too low.
Sources said NLB, which also owns banks in Bosnia, Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo and Macedonia, would probably not be allowed to carry out any takeovers while still in state hands, as has been the case since it received state help in 2013.
Finance Minister Mateja Vranicar Erman is due to meet EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager later this month to discuss options regarding the sale of NLB.
$1 = 0.8737 euros) (Reporting By Marja Novak)