Slovenia - Banking and securities



The Bank of Slovenia is the country's central bank, and it is independent of the government. It has pursued a tight monetary and credit policy, aimed at the gradual reduction of inflation, since the introduction of the tolar in October 1991. The bank ended some of the worst abuses of the banking system under the Yugoslavian federation, such as enterprises setting up their own banks from which they borrowed freely.

At the end of 1996, the Bank of Slovenia changed its method of calculating the revalorization rate for other banks. From January 1997, the rate is derived from price increases over the preceding six months, instead of four months as before.

Yet not until 1999 did Slovenia move to reform its banking sector by privatizing some of its largest banks and permitting foreign investment. Two of the largest state-owned banks, Nova Ljubljanska Banka, Nova Kreditna banka Maribor were prime candidates for privatization. Analysts also expected large-scale consolidation to follow in the wake of the banking divestment.

The International Monetary Fund reports that in 2001, currency and demand deposits—an aggregate commonly known as M1—were equal to $1.9 billion. In that same year, M2—an aggregate equal to M1 plus savings deposits, small time deposits, and money market mutual funds—was $10.8 billion. The money market rate, the rate at which financial institutions lend to one another in the short term, was 6.9%.

Commercial banks in the country include the Albania Joint-Stock Company. The currency unit is the tolar (Slt). The Ljubljana Stock Exchange, abolished in 1953, was reopened in December 1989. As of 2001, it listed 38 securities and had 60 members. Total market capitalization was $2.8 billion that year, and trading value was $794 million, an increase of 30.5% from the previous year. The Ljubljana International Futures and Options Exchange, Ltd. opened in 1998.

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