BELGRADE May 22 Serbian lender Komercijalna
Banka's net profit almost double to 2.48 billion
dinars ($22.56 million) in the first quarter due to higher
lending, new digital products and improved debt collection
through the courts, it said on Monday.
Net profit at Serbia's second-largest bank in the
first-quarter last year was 1.4 billion dinars.
The bank ended 2016 with an 8.06 billion dinars loss, partly
due to provisions against bad loans which had totalled 25
percent of its lending.
The Serbian government is due to sell its 41.7 percent stake
in Komercijalna Banka this year. In 2015 Nomura was appointed to
advise on the sale.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)
and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), part of the
World Bank group, own 24.4 and 10.1 percent stakes respectively.
Komercijalna Banka has a 12.9 percent market share in terms
of assets, trailing behind Banka Intesa, part of Italy's Intesa
Chief Executive Alexander Picker said management's primary
task in the privatisation process was to maintain and increase
($1 = 109.9500 Serbian dinars)
(Reporting by Aleksandar Vasovic; Editing by Susan Thomas)