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UPDATE 1-Slovenian banks in profit, bad loans down in November - cbank
January 26, 2016 / 3:50 PM / in 2 years

UPDATE 1-Slovenian banks in profit, bad loans down in November - cbank

* Banks’ net profit at 210 mln euros in Jan-Nov

* Bad loans down to 10.3 pct in Nov (Updates with quotes, details, background)

By Marja Novak

LJUBLJANA, Jan 26 (Reuters) - Slovenian banks notched up a combined net profit of 209.6 million euros ($227 million) in the first 11 months of 2015, the central bank said on Tuesday, after they almost pushed the tiny ex-Yugoslav republic into an international bailout in 2013.

The figure compares with a loss of 11.1 million euros for the sector in the same period of 2014.

The Bank of Slovenia also said lenders had managed to reduce the amount of loans whose repayment has been delayed by 90 days or more to 3.7 billion euros in November, accounting for 10.3 percent of all loans, down from 10.8 percent in October.

“Credit risk remains high but is gradually stabilising,” the central bank said in a report that urged banks to speed up the resolution of bad loans through company restructuring or sales and write-offs of the loans.

The previous government had to pour more than 3 billion euros into mostly state-owned local banks in 2013 to prevent them from collapsing under a large amount of bad loans. By doing this Slovenia managed narrowly to avoid a bailout.

The central bank said balance sheet assets fell to 38.1 billion euros in November, down 2 percent year-on-year, while loans to non-financial companies fell 13.7 percent year-on-year. Loans to households increased 1.1 percent in the same period.

It said macroeconomic risks for banks were falling amid economic growth, rising exports and better conditions on the labour market.

“In spite of that there is a risk of lower GDP (than forecast) due to uncertain economic recovery in some euro-zone members and possible worsening of geo-political tensions in areas of Ukraine and the Middle East,” the bank said.

In October the central bank forecast Slovenia’s 2016 economic growth at 1.9 percent, down from an expected 2.6 percent for 2015. Slovenia exports about 70 percent of its output, mostly to other EU states, with cars, pharmaceutical products and household appliances among the main items.

Slovenia’s 2013 banking crisis was the result of a steep economic slowdown amid a fall of exports following the 2008-09 global financial crisis.

The government still controls about 50 percent of Slovenia’s banking sector but has pledged to sell most banks in the coming years. In June it sold the third largest bank, Nova KBM, and the sale of Slovenia’s biggest bank Nova Ljubljanska Banka (NLB) is due to start later this year. ($1 = 0.9231 euros) (Reporting by Marja Novak; Editing by David Clarke and Gareth Jones)

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