Business News

Anniversary of NLB listing marked on London Stock Exchange

London, 05 November (STA) - The floating of NLB on the London Stock Exchange was labelled a success story by leading representatives of the bank and the stock exchange as the first anniversary of NLB as a publicly listed company was commemorated in London on Tuesday.

NLB was listed on the Ljubljana and London stock exchanges on 14 November last year in what wrapped up the state's sale of the majority of Slovenia's leading bank via an initial public offering (IPO).

Becoming the first Slovenian joint-stock company on the London Stock Exchange, NLB was listed in London in the form of financial instruments known as global depository receipts or GDRs.

Axel Kalinowski, head of Central and Southern Europe at London Stock Exchange, sees the NLB listing as a success story both in terms of the IPO stage and what has followed.

The bank has attracted an international configuration of investors - half are from the UK, while they are also from other parts of Europe and the US -, the share has gained in value and the bank's privatisation was able to get completed earlier this year through the stock market.

Kalinowski sees NLB as adding value to the trade in London, since the bank's region continues to grow and presents clear opportunities. He added the listing put Slovenia and the region on the global financial map, a view echoed by NLB chairman Blaž Brodnjak.

Brodnjak described the listing in London as a privilege, providing the bank with access to global investors, analysts and other established financial sector players. He argued the model of NLB's privatisation can serve as an example for the entire region.

NLB chief supervisor Primož Karpe added the London listing put the bank under the watchful eye of a large pool of investors. Karpe, who is convinced "NLB will never disappoint again", is proud of the very international ownership structure.

Slovenia sold 65% of NLB at EUR 51.50 per share or EUR 10.30 per GDR a year ago to sell another 10% minus one share on the stock market at EUR 54.75 or EUR 10.95 in June this year.

On the Ljubljana Stock Exchange, NLB's value ranged between EUR 65 and EUR 54 in the past year and in London between EUR 13.01 and 10.52. On Monday the NLB share and GDR closed at EUR 54.80 and EUR 10.72, respectively.

The market capitalisation on both stock markets stands at around EUR 1.1 billion, while total turnover in Ljubljana amounted to EUR 39.7 million by the end of October and in London to roughly EUR 178 million.

Slovenia has remained the largest single owner of NLB with a controlling stake. The remaining dispersed ownership consists of institutional investors from the region, Europe and wider, while there are also a few small investors. Most of the shareholders (63.02%) as on 10 September were represented by Bank of New York Mellon as the depositary.

Along with Slovenia, major single owners include the EBRD with a 7.125% stake, the British asset manager Schroder with 5.048% and US investment firm Brandes Investment Partners with a stake of 5-10%.

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