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Weekly Review of the Slovene Economy from 6 to 12 April

Ljubljana, 14 April - After the state commission overseeing the privatisation of Slovenia's largest bank gave the go-ahead on the sale of a 34-percent share of NLB, the Belgian banking group KBC is a step closer to entering the Slovene banking market. The final decision on the sale, however, has to be made by the government. Two other Slovene companies will get a new owner after Slovenia's leading oil trader Petrol was selected as the most suitable bidder for two subsidiaries from the group Slovene Steelworks, namely Energetika Ravne and Energetika Store.

Insurance companies - which are still partly in "public ownership" 11 years after they were transformed into joint-stock companies - are closer to being privatised as a bill on their privatisation was discussed by competent parliamentary bodies last week. The anticipated rise in the cost of veterinary checks for animals transported across Slovene borders - which was to take effect on Friday - proved to be a technical mistake. Nevertheless, a rise is expected to be implemented within a fortnight. The Novo-mesto-based pharmaceutical company Krka opened a new facility producing solid medicines in what is its largest investment so far, costing EUR 65 million.

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