March 3, 2017 / 6:43 PM / 9 months ago

Slovenian bank NLB's 2016 profit up 20 pct

LJUBLJANA, March 3 (Reuters) - Slovenia’s largest bank, state-owned Nova Ljubljanska Banka (NLB), in which the government plans to divest a 75 percent stake this year, reported a jump in profit for 2016.

Group net profit was 110 million euros ($116 million) for 2016 versus 91.9 million a year ago, the bank said in a statement on Friday.

NLB said conditions were challenging in 2016, with record low interest rates and general over-liquidity, increasing regulatory pressure and strong competition in the markets.

The bank also said bad loans decreased to 13.8 percent of all loans by the end of 2016 from 19.3 percent a year before.

“This strong performance on NPL (non performing loans) reduction was possible due to strong results in collection and continued divestment of exposures at asset and portfolio level,” it said.

Total assets increased by 217.4 million euros to 12 billion euros in 2016 due to excess liquidity in all core markets and the continued inflow of deposits, the bank added.

The government plans to sell 75 percent of NLB this year through an initial public offering.

$1 = 0.9479 euros Reporting by Marja Novak and Maja Zuvela; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle

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