Business News

NLB Region's Second, Triglav First in 2009

Ljubljana, 13 July (STA) - Slovenia's leading bank, NLB, ranks second on the list of 15 biggest banking groups in the Adria region for 2009, while insurer Zavarovalnica Triglav was the leader in the region, according to a survey by Deloitte.

Topping the list of 15 biggest banking groups in terms of assets was Italian Unicredit group with nearly EUR 19.5bn in total assets in 2009, followed by NLB with EUR 18.4bn and Intesa Sanpaolo with 15bn.

Had it had a majority stake in Banka Celje, a member of the NLB group, the Slovenian banking group would come ahead of Unicredit on the list, a Deloitte Ljubljana official told reporters in Ljubljana on Tuesday.

The three leading banking groups account for 35% of the overall bank assets in the region, and all 15 ranked banks have 80% of the total assets in the region, Deloitte financial consulting department executive director Janez Skrubej said.

While foreign banks prevail on the Adria FSI Top 15 list, there are also five Slovenian banks. The NKBM group ranks 8th, Abanka Vipa 9th, Banka Celje 12th and Gorenjska banka 14th.

Slovenia is the leader in the region by the banking sector's assets, getting ahead of Croatia in 2009. Capital adequacy of Slovenian banks is above the EU average, Skrubej said.

Except for NLB, all major banking groups in the region comprising Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia and Montenegro remained profitable in 2009, but profits were blow 2008 levels.

Last year saw only two takeovers in the region, but Skrubej expects the trend of capital consolidation seen in recent years to resume once the economic situation stabilises.

The group around insurance company Triglav topped the list of 15 insurance groups in the region with EUR 952.2bn in gross premiums, followed by Croatia osiguranje (EUR 456.4bn) and Agram (330.9bn).

Other Slovenian insurers ranking are Zavarovalnica Maribor in 4th, Adriatic Slovenica in 5th, mutual insurer Vzajemna in 6th, reinsurer Sava Re in 13th and Merkur group in 14th place.

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