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Business news in Slovenia

Report: Pošta, Zavarovalnica Triglav to remain strategic assets

Ljubljana, 08 May (STA) - Forbes Slovenia reported on Wednesday that the postal company Pošta Slovenije and the insurer Zavarovalnica Triglav will remain classified as strategic assets of the state, despite earlier reports that they will no longer be off limits for sale. The government is expected to discuss the relevant draft strategy on Thursday.

This comes after reports in April that Pošta Slovenije and Zavarovalnica Triglav will be downgraded from "strategic assets" to "important assets" in line with a new state investment management strategy drawn up by the Finance Ministry.

An update of the existing 2015 strategy, which is considered outdated, the ministry's draft keeps in place the three-tier categorisation featuring strategic, important and portfolio assets.

Deemed as "strategic assets", mostly involving the energy and transport sectors, are those in which the minimum state share is 50% plus one share or one vote.

In "important assets" the state shareholding is envisaged at a minimum of 25% and one share or vote, while the state asset custodian SSH has free reign when it comes to "portfolio assets".

In the draft strategy, Pošta Slovenije and Zavarovalnica Triglav are notably relegated from the strategic status, which has raised concerns among trade unions about the potential sale, and part of the coalition has also raised objections.

Finance Minister Klemen Boštjančič told the media at the time that the move did not mean aspirations to sell the two companies.

Following a meeting with unions, he said the relevant change in the draft had been proposed "purely for technicality reasons", noting that the two companies did not meet the criteria for the top status already in the existing strategy.

However, the Forbes Slovenia portal reports today that there will be no re-classification, and that in the latest draft, which is expected to be approved by the government on Thursday, both companies are labelled as "strategic assets".

The revamped strategy comes about a year later than originally announced by the government and following a number of major changes since the 2015 strategy.

Among them was the absorption of the BAMC bad bank which by SSH at the end of 2022, which also brought several companies under the auspices of SSH.

Of the 104 companies listed in the 2015 strategy, 29 have been sold for what the draft strategy says was EUR 1.6 billion in total.

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