September 7, 2018 / 5:54 PM / 11 days ago

Slovenia's NLB bank first-half profit falls, as do bad loans

LJUBLJANA, Sept 7 (Reuters) - Slovenia’s largest bank Nova Ljubljanska Banka (NLB) which is due to be privatised, said on Friday its first-half group net profit fell 11 percent as provisions against bad loans declined less sharply than a year earlier.

It also said that its bad loans fell to 8.3 percent of all loans by the end of June, down from 9.2 percent at the end of 2017 and 12.6 percent a year ago.

Group net profit totalled 104.8 million euros ($121 million) for January to June.

“The profit was lower mainly due to lower decrease of provisions for credit risks than in the first half of 2017,” the state-owned bank said, adding that a decrease in provisions significantly boosted profit in the first half of last year.

Slovenia’s new minority centre-left government, due to be confirmed this month by parliament, plans to sell at least 50 percent of NLB via an initial public offering later this year and sell a further stake in 2019. The state will retain a 25 percent stake in order to have a say in key business decisions.

The state agreed to sell the bank in 2013 in exchange for the European Commission’s approval of state aid for the bank as the euro zone member faced a banking crisis. ($1 = 0.8651 euros) (Reporting By Marja Novak; Editing by Susan Fenton)

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