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Slovenia Should Sell Assets to Lure Investors, Goldman Says

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Nov. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Slovenia should sell state-owned companies to attract investors from outside the country, Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s Alexander Dibelius said.

“As a small country you have the advantage to be adjustable and quick in adopting changes,” Dibelius, who runs the bank’s operations in Germany, Austria, Russia and central Europe, said in an e-mailed statement from industry body AmCham Slovenia today. “Slovenia has good companies, excellent people, geostrategically, you have access to all parts of Europe and the chances to change for the better is in your own hands.”

Slovenia, the first post-communist nation to introduce the euro in 2007, is struggling to avoid the need for a bailout from international lenders as political gridlock grips the nation of 2 million people. The government of Prime Minister Janez Jansa is pushing ahead with an overhaul of the economy with some measures threatened by a possible referendum.

Labor unions and opposition leaders have filed a motion for a people’s vote on government plans to recapitalize state-owned lenders like Nova Ljubljanska Banka d.d. and the creation of a wealth fund.

Dibelius favors the creation of a “bad bank” in Slovenia because such a plan “frees banks burdened by bad loans so that they can again give loans to the economy.”

Slovenia wants to accelerate plans to sell state-owned companies including Nova Kreditna Banka Maribor d.d. and Telekom Slovenije d.d., Finance Minister Janez Sustersic said in an interview last month.

To contact the reporter on this story: Boris Cerni in Ljubljana at bcerni@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James M. Gomez at jagomez@bloomberg.net

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