BRUSSELS: Belgian banking and insurance group KBC said it had agreed to sell its 22 per cent stake in Nova Ljubljanska Banka (NLB) to Slovenia, one of the last remaining divestments required by EU regulators.
Slovenian Finance Minister Janez Sustersic said the 2.8 million euro ($3.70 million) transaction should ease the sale of NLB, the country’s biggest bank, planned for next year, as the government will become the unlisted bank’s sole owner with a stake of about 85 per cent.
He also said he expected NLB’s contingent convertible bonds (CoCos) worth 320 million euros, which the Slovenian government bought in July, to be converted into an ownership stake in the bank in the first half of 2013, when NLB’s Core Tier 1 capital ratio is expected to fall below 7 per cent.
KBC, which received 7 billion euros ($9.26 billion) of aid in the 2008-2009 financial crisis, said the deal would have a negative 100 million euro impact on its fourth-quarter results, with a negligible effect on KBC’s capital.
KBC still has to find buyers for Antwerp Diamond Bank, KBC Bank Deutschland and Serbian unit KBC Banka. KBC Chief Executive Johan Thijs said that the latter was proceeding well, but the sale of the Belgian and German assets was challenging.