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Slovenia: No need to raise more cash in near term

Slovenia's finance minister has said the country has sufficient cash "for quite a period" and will not attempt any further money raising efforts in the near term as the country readies 15 companies for privatization.

Finance minister Uroš Čufer also predicted that the country's borrowing costs will fall further from current levels as the nation's fundamentals look "strong".

Earlier this month, Slovenia issued 2 billion euros ($2.76 billion) in bonds on international markets after a 3-year hiatus. The offering included 1 billion euros in 3-year bonds and another 1 billion euros in 7-year bonds.

Slovenian Finance Minister Uros Cufer and Dutch Finance Minister and Eurozone President Jeroen Dijsselbloem
Jure Makovec I AFP I Getty Images
Slovenian Finance Minister Uros Cufer and Dutch Finance Minister and Eurozone President Jeroen Dijsselbloem

Bids reached over 9.5 billion euros, pushing yields on 10-year bonds to a 42-month low of 3.57 percent.

"I think we will see yields are going down further. Currently we have sufficient cash in our accounts for quite a period. If you look at what we can achieve with restructuring the economy I think spreads shall go down further," Čufer told CNBC.

Slovenia dodged an international bailout by recapitalizing its state-owned banks at the end of last year, pouring 3 billion euros into the country's three largest banks.

Slovenia was the fastest-growing euro zone member in 2007 when it joined the monetary union but was badly hit by the global crisis due to its dependency on exports.

Čufer said in the short term there is a list of 15 companies to privatize, worth roughly 1 billion euros.

"There are three major companies and the rest are medium size. The sectors are the airports, telecoms and the banks," he said.

Its banks, which are mostly state-owned, piled up large amounts of bad loans through years of reckless lending. Most bad loans of the country's three largest banks, Nova Ljubljanska Banka, NKBM and Abanka Vipa, are due to be transferred to the state-owned bad bank by the end of this month.

"We injected the 3 billion euros in the worst case scenario because we have performed the stress test that was even harsher than the one that will be run this year . You give the banks a financial stability and strength in order to restructure the economy. The second thing and maybe more importantly is we have achieved changing behaviors in the banks," he said.

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