Triglav Insurer Plans to Sell Abanka After Turnaround, CEO Says

Zavarovalnica Triglav d.d. Chief Executive Officer Matjaz Rakovec said Slovenia’s biggest insurer plans to sell its holding in Abanka Vipa d.d. after it helps the country’s third largest lender to become profitable. Rakovec spoke in an interview in Portoroz, Slovenia on May 15.

On the sale of Abanka in which Triglav is the single largest shareholder:

“Our ownership of Abanka is more of a burden than an asset. At the moment, it would be irresponsible to other Abanka shareholders just to sell this investment. We will try and help them turn their business around, increase the share value and find the right moment to exit the investment. The aim of Triglav is to dispose of the stake.”

On Slovenia’s second recession in three years:

“The main problem is the uncertainty over the future. Everybody seems to be careful on what they spend their money on. We see the biggest drop in life insurance segment, that is long-term savings as people deem them unnecessary at this moment when they strive to survive. It’s a kind of a crunch, people are giving up on their second cars and long-term investments.

‘‘The other effect is on small companies which are going down because they have been dependent on bigger firms. Late payments are also a big problem in Slovenia. The situation is demanding, but we are adapting our business to new circumstances.’’

On first quarter earnings and the outlook for 2012:

‘‘Similar to last our first quarter result is in line with our plan while we are still dealing with asset write downs, especially in Abanka and we also wrote down the value of Greek bonds. I don’t expect big changes this year.’’

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