January 26, 2018 / 11:00 AM / 25 days ago

EU opens in-depth investigation into Slovenia's NLB bank

BRUSSELS, Jan 26 (Reuters) - The European Commission said on Friday it had opened an in-depth investigation into new commitments made by Slovenia regarding the restructuring of the country’s largest bank Nova Ljubljanska Banka (NLB).

Slovenia, which fully owns of the bank, had initially pledged to sell a first tranche of a 75 percent stake in NLB by the end of 2017, but put the sale plan on hold last June.

The Slovenian government, which has made several cash injections into NLB, notified the Commission of a set of new commitments in December.

Its proposals consist of an extension of the deadline for the sale as well as the appointment of an independent trustee to oversee Slovenia’s shareholders rights in the meantime.

“At this stage, the Commission has doubts whether the new Slovenian proposal can be considered equivalent to Slovenia’s original commitment,” the Commission, which oversees competition policy in the European Union, said. (Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek; editing by Philip Blenkinsop)

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