The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has raised its stake in Slovenian lender Nova Ljubljanska Banka (NLB) to 7.125%.
The move was a part of the government’s efforts to privatise the major banks in the country.
In November last year, EBRD acquired 6.25% stake in NLB, during the first phase of privatisation.
EBRD increased its stake after the Slovenian Sovereign Holding (SDH) sold a 10% interest in NLB on London Stock Exchange. EBRD, along with other institutional investors, acquired the offered shares.
The latest sale reduces the government’s stake in NLB to 25% plus one share, as agreed with the European Commission.
Earlier, the Slovenian government agreed to return NLB to a majority private ownership under the European Union State Aid Procedure.
NLB, the largest lender in the country, has received more than €2.3bn as government support since 2013. It holds around 23% of total banking assets in Slovenia.
Headquartered in Ljubljana, NLB caters to nearly 1.8 million active customers through a network of 321 branches. The bank also operates in other south-east European countries through its core subsidiaries.
The NLB stake sale announcement comes just days after Slovenia decided to sell Abanka bank to Nova Kreditna Banka Maribor (Nova KBM). Nova KBM and Abanka are leading banks in the country.
Nova KBM will acquire Abanka in a deal reportedly valued around €444m ($501m).