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Slovenia considers privatizations to avoid bailout

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Slovenia is looking to sell its largest telecommunications operator and second largest bank, sources said, as its steps up efforts to shore up its finances and avoid a bailout. It will try to sell state-owned Nova KBM this year, a government source told Reuters on Monday. According an unconfirmed local media report, the government is also considering selling telecoms firm Telekom. The country is racing to convince investors it has a credible strategy for raising the funds it needs to stay solvent, and is due to adopt an economic reform program on Thursday before presenting it to the European Commission. The Bank of Slovenia on Monday urged the government to speed up privatizations in sectors where “the market is more effective than state ownership” but gave no details. On Friday, EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn said Slovenia would not need a bailout if it reacted quickly to bring down its budget deficit.

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