May 14, 2019 / 2:00 PM / 2 months ago

Foreign investment in Slovenia soars amid takeovers, central bank says

LJUBLJANA, May 14 (Reuters) - Foreign direct investment in Slovenia increased sharply in 12 months ending with March 2019 because of several large takeovers, the Bank of Slovenia said in a report on Tuesday.

In those 12 months, foreign investment increased by 1.5 billion euros ($1.68 billion), compared with an increase of 428 million euros in the period from April 2017 till March 2018, the report said.

The bank did not name the takeovers. However, Italian insurer Generali recently completed a takeover of Slovenian rival Adriatic Slovenica. The deal, worth 245 million euros, helped Generali to become the second-largest insurer in Slovenia.

In November, Slovenia sold 65% of its largest bank, Nova Ljubljanska Banka (NLB), through an IPO. Chinese Hisense took over local household appliances maker Gorenje in June last year.

The bank also said Slovenian direct investment abroad increased by 40 million euros in the same period.

The government hopes to attract more foreign direct investment in coming years to ensure the growth of the export-oriented economy and improve its competitiveness. ($1 = 0.8917 euros) (Reporting by Marja Novak)

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