Maribor, 9 June (STA) - One of Slovenia's most respected bankers has said that while economic data for the first quarter are not promising, showing that Slovenia dipped into recession again, there were positive trends to be seen both at home as well as abroad. France Arhar added that banks still had money for good projects.
It is clear that the crisis is persisting, the chairman of Unicredit banka Slovenije told a financial conference organised by the Chamber of Craft and Small Business on Wednesday. But he said strong economic news from Germany was a good omen for the Slovenian economy.
"Last year the prevailing opinion was that Slovenian banks suffered from a credit crunch...which was coupled with major drops in exports and imports," said the former governor of Banka Slovenije. Despite the uncertain conditions, Arhar said that banks have sufficient funds to finance good projects.
The main problem facing Slovenian companies is the high share of debt on their balance sheets. Ownership capital amounts to only 23% of all capital of companies, while the debt of Slovenian companies to banks amounts to EUR 20bn. "The biggest issue is not a shortage of money, but the high indebtedness of many companies..which limits their ability to take on new debt."
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