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State-owned Nova Ljubljanska Banka (NLB), Slovenia's largest bank, expects further losses this year due to more bad loans and will need fresh capital of about EUR400m in a few months' time, newswires reported.
NLB is at the centre of a growing storm in the Eurozone country that puts it at the top of the list of countries probably requiring an international bailout. The mostly state-owned banks are burdened with a huge amount of bad loans worth some 20% of annual GDP, and the country is back in recession and in the midst of a political crisis.
NLB made a net loss last year of EUR273.5m due to provisioning on its loans, up from a loss of EUR239m in 2011. Chief Executive Janko Medja said the bank will need fresh capital, presumably by the middle of the year after a capital hike of EUR375m was postponed by shareholders in December.
"The situation in the environment and the situation in the bank is very serious. The year 2013 will be very difficult for us as we will continue to clean up the bank's portfolio," Medja told a news conference, Reuters reported.
The government will in the coming weeks raise its stake in the bank to over 90% from around 85% currently by converting a EUR320m contingent convertible bond issued last year. The conversion will ensure that NLB's Core Tier 1 capital solvency ratio will reach 8.7%, but still below the 9% that is recommended by the European Banking Authority.
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