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By Marja Novak
LJUBLJANA, May 28 (Reuters) - Slovenian Finance Minister Mateja Vranicar Erman offered to resign on Monday over a likely delay in the sale of Nova Ljubljanska Banka (NLB) but the prime minister refused to accept her resignation, sources said.
The finance ministry and the office of Prime Minister Miro Cerar were not immediately available to comment.
The government has refused to give guarantees for what could amount to about 400 million euros ($450 million) in compensation payable by NLB, Slovenia’s largest bank, to Croatian banks who repaid depositors at NLB’s predecessor Ljubljanska Banka.
Ljubljanska Banka closed its Croatian business after Slovenia declared independence from the former Yugoslavia in 1991 and Slovenia wants any repayment agreement to be part of succession talks between the ex-Yugoslav states.
State-owned Slovenian Sovereign Holding (SDH), which is coordinating the NLB sale, could decide on whether to pursue the privatisation on Thursday, sources said.
Slovenia has committed to selling 75 percent of NLB in exchange for European Commission approval of aid to the bank in 2013 and planned to sell half of NLB this year and another 25 percent by the end of 2018.
The Slovenian government controls about 50 percent of the economy and some 44 percent of the banking sector. (Editing by Louise Ireland)