Ljubljana, 02 February (STA) - The Central Bank has granted Gorenjska banka the authorisation to acquire up to 20% of the voting rights or an equal participating interest in the equity of Slovenia's third biggest bank Abanka Vipa, the latter wrote in a press release on Tuesday. The banks said in June that they would merge, thus forming the second-largest bank in the country.
The Central Bank granted the authorisation on 26 January. Currently, the Kranj-based Gorenjska banka holds a 9.9% stake in Abanka. The supervisors of Abanka greenlighted the merger in October 2009.
Business daily Finance reported on Tuesday that the authorisation was connected to Gorenjska banka's option contract with financial holding Zvon Ena on buying from it a 2.42% stake in Abanka worth EUR 9.4m.
The deal is likely to take place already this week, as Zvon Ena Holding is expected to return a loan by Friday, according to Finance.
Gorenjska banka also has an option contract with BPT group regarding the acquisition of 4.76% of Abanka. If this deal goes through, Gorenjska banka will hold a 17.16% stake in Abanka.
This would result in Gorejska banka and its parent company, chemicals-through-tourism group Sava, together getting control over 40.99% of Abanka Vipa, which is more than the 33% which the state holds in the bank through insurer Zavarovalnice Triglav.