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Slovenia report Slovenia report
by Euro Reporter
2012-03-03 10:08:48
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Slovenia will reduce holdings in banks

Slovenia will reduce holdings in its major financial firms, including Nova Ljubljanska Banka d.d. and insurer Zavarovalnica Triglav d.d., to lower public spending and avoid the need for government support. “The government wants to keep the 25 percent stake plus one share in the major financial firms, Nova Ljubljanska Banka, Nova Kreditna Banka Maribor d.d. and Zavarovalnica Triglav if we want to carry out the fiscal consolidation,” Finance Minister Janez Sustersic told reporters in Ljubljana today. He said the government will aim to cut the budget deficit to about 3 percent of gross domestic product as it seeks to allay investors’ concern over its debt and “reduce the pressure” on government bond yields.

The government, via state agencies, holds majorities in the country’s two biggest lenders, NLB and Nova Kreditna, as well as in Zavarovalnica Triglav, its biggest insurer. Slovenia, a euro-region member since 2007, wants to sell state assets to avoid injecting cash into unprofitable companies that threaten its deficit-reduction targets. NLB reported a loss of 239 million Euros ($321 million) for last year and Nova Kreditna will probably also report a loss, its first since it sold shares to the public in 2007. Triglav is the most profitable of the group as its nine- month profit rose to 35 million Euros and the insurer aims to earn 61 million Euros of net income in 2012.


Slovenia’s South Stream pipeline cost estimate at 1 billion Euros

The Slovenian stretch of the South Stream natural gas pipeline will cost about 1 billion Euros ($1.34 billion), Delo newspaper reported, citing Marjan Eberlinc, the chief of Plinovodi d.o.o after his meeting with Alexey Miller, the CEO of OAO Gazprom in the capital Ljubljana. Slovenia and the Russia’s gas export monopoly have agreed to share the cost by forming a joint company that is set to start building the pipeline by the end of the year, the Ljubljana-based newspaper said.

The Slovenian section of the South Stream will initially be able to carry 8 billion cubic meters of gas a year, which will later increase to 25 billion, according to Delo. The South Stream project, which involves the Italian company ENI SpA (ENI), would build a pipeline across the Black Sea to ship Russian gas to Europe, bypassing transit countries.


Slovenia unemployment rate rises in Q4

Unemployment rate in Slovenia increased to 8.7 percent in the fourth quarter from 7.9 percent in the third quarter, data from the Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia showed Tuesday. The number of unemployed totaled 89,000 in the last quarter of 2011, 10.6 percent more than in the previous quarter. In the fourth quarter of 2011, there were 933,000 employed, 11,000 less than in the third quarter of 2011.

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