September 12, 2019 / 7:31 AM / 8 days ago

Slovenian lender NLB bids for Serbia's Komercijalna -report

LJUBLJANA, Sept 12 (Reuters) - Slovenia’s largest bank Nova Ljubljanska Banka (NLB) has filed a non-binding bid to purchase Serbia’s second largest bank Komercijalna Banka, Slovenian newspaper Dnevnik reported on Thursday, citing unofficial sources.

NLB was not available for an immediate comment.

NLB, which owns banks in Slovenia, Serbia, Bosnia, Montenegro, Kosovo and Macedonia, has a market share of only 1.5% in Serbia and has been aiming to increase it.

This month Serbia agreed to buy 34.58% of Komercijalna from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) in preparation for the planned privatisation of Komercijalna.

Following the purchase the state owns about 83% of Komercijalna.

Slovenia sold 75% of NLB to international investors in 2018 and earlier this year while the government kept 25% to have a say in key business decisions.

Reporting by Marja Novak; editing by Jason Neely

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