(Updates with profit figures, details, background)
LJUBLJANA Oct 11 Banks in Slovenia reported a
sharp rise in their combined profits in the first eight months
of this year, helped by an improving economy and a drop in bad
loans, data from the central bank showed on Tuesday.
The sector has been recovering since Slovenia's banking
system came close to collapse in 2013 and the government had to
inject more than 3 billion euros to rescue mostly state-owned
In the first eight months of this year the joint net profit
of Slovenian banks, foreign and state-owned, jumped to 311
million euros ($348 mln), from 175 million in the same period of
Their bad loans fell to 2.2 billion euros in August, or 6.7
percent of all loans, from 7.3 percent a month earlier, the Bank
of Slovenia said.
Foreign banks with Slovenian subsidiaries include Societe
Generale, Sberbank, Unicredit and
Euro zone member Slovenia narrowly avoided seeking an
international bailout in 2013 when its banks were on the brink
but they have since benefited from an improving economy and cost
The government raised its economic growth forecasts for 2016
and 2017 last month, to 2.3 percent and 2.9 percent
respectively, citing stronger growth in exports.
Loans to households rose 2.2 percent in August from a year
earlier, but loans to non-financial companies dropped by 11.2
percent compared with the same month of 2015, the central bank
Banks' combined balance sheet assets were down by 3.5
percent year-on-year in August.
($1 = 0.8928 euros)
(Reporting by Marja Novak; Editing by Susan Fenton)