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Key Economic Data 
  2003 2002 2001 Ranking(2003)
Millions of US $ 26,284 21,108 18,800 63
GNI per capita
 US $ 11,830 9,810 9,760 51
Ranking is given out of 208 nations - (data from the World Bank)

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Janez Drnovsek

Private sector 
% of GDP 

Update No: 099 - (26/07/05)

High hopes for Slovenia dashed?
Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa held talks with Luxembourgish Prime Minister Jean Claude Juncker on June 8th, According to Jansa, Slovenia is confident that it would get twice the amount of money in the next European Union budget as it is currently receiving. The government and the EU affairs committee also endorsed this standpoint. All this was before the full effects of the bombshell of the French and Dutch No votes on the EU constitution were felt. All bets are now off on the 2000-2013 EU budget.
Slovenian officials were quite optimistic about the outcome of the final phase of negotiations on the budget all the same. The presidency, now in British hands, will shortly reveal a final proposal; and Jansa expects it will be no worse than the one that is on the table now, but "unfortunately, it cannot be expected that it will come close to the European Commission's proposal," which Slovenia also accepted.
According to Janasa, the Commission's proposal is better than the compromise proposals of the Luxembourg presidency as the latter failed to take into full account the EU commitments regarding the Lisbon Strategy, rural development and cohesion. He added that the conditions in the EU would not change in way to become more favourable to the Commission's proposal.
Slovenia said earlier that it hoped to see an agreement on the financial perspective shortly. It is a crucial time for Slovenia as it has to secure hefty funding from structural and cohesion funds, otherwise the statistical effect of subsequent rounds of enlargement will artificially push its GDP higher as compared to the EU average (this serves as a basis for eligibility calculations), and certainly curb the takings. If this occurs then Slovenia would have to go through what would be tough and lengthy negotiations on the division of the country into statistical regions.

Slovenia aims to exceed EU's GDP average by 2015 
The development strategy recently adopted by the Slovenian government is, if successful, going to make life more difficult here for future Slovene negotiators. For it aims that Slovenia should exceed the EU's per capita GP by 2015, obviously thereby restricting its eligibility for handouts from Brussels.
The strategy is based on ensuring prosperity to all citizens which sets four fundamental goals, the Slovene press agency reported. One such goal is economic, another is to improve the quality of life and the welfare of Slovenian citizens. The primary goals of the document are sustainable development and the bolstering of Slovenia's global standing. 
In order to surpass the average gross domestic product (GDP) in the EU in 10 years, Slovenia's economy will have to grow by 3 percentage points faster than the EU. As predicted, 2 per cent growth in the EU15, the Slovenian economy has to expand at 5 per cent, Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa told the agency. The work on the blueprint for the strategy was launched by the previous government. The final copy of the document was drafted by the Institute for Macroeconomic Development and Analysis (IMAD) and went through an extensive debate in the government.
Jansa said the document stressed more on sustainable development and is based on the estimate that Slovenia is at a crossroads where it will have to find a new development impetus. He is convinced that Slovenian economy's goal to increase at 5 per cent is ambitious but attainable provided that development-oriented measures are made. The government is now expected to propose the creation of a task force to prepare the basis for long-term reforms. According to Jansa, the government would now negotiate the standpoints on the social agreement on the strategy. Jansa said the government will maintain that the social agreement incorporates the goals of the development strategy. 
A detailed programme of measures and financial estimates that will accompany the strategy is scheduled to be adopted by the cabinet by September. The strategy will also serve as the basis for Slovenia's action plan for the implementation of the Lisbon Strategy, Jansa said. 

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Protej bids for majority stake in Autocommerce 

Protej, the biggest shareholder of Autocommerce, published a public bid to acquire all of the shares in the car, tourism, IT and finance group Autocommerce, in which it already owns a 24.99 per cent stake, Slovene Press Agency reported recently. 
However, the company did not disclose the threshold of shares to be purchased in order to consider its bid successful. Protej is offering 6,100 tolars (25.4 Euro) per share in the bid, which ran out on July 21. Protej would have to pay a total of over 13 billion tolars (54.2m Euro) if it succeeds in acquiring all Autocommerce shares that are not floated on the official market. The bid is considered to be a management buyout, since Protej is owned by Branko Sibanovski, the director of Autocommerce's brokerage AC BPH, and 26 other top officials at Autocommere.

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NLB enters Russian market, targets bigger business 

Slovenia's largest bank, Nova Ljubljanska banka (NLB), recently signed an agreement for the acquisition of 7.69 per cent of the Moscow-based Promsvyazbank. This is a portfolio investment confirming existing cooperation and strengthening future collaboration, NLB said in a statement, New Europe reported.
According to the Slovenian bank, Russia is a growing market and the agreement would further expand business there. NLB had a successful representation in the Russian market which is also one of the strategic development markets. Next step for NLB is to increase its shares in Promsvyazbank to a controlling stake. Meanwhile, the Kommersant reported that it found out NLB's stake might increase between 10 per cent and 15 per cent by this September through an option.

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Cabinet OKs construction of Sava hydro plant 

The Slovenian cabinet announced at a recent meeting that it had opened doors for the construction of the third of five hydroelectric power plants on the lower Sava River. The government affirmed a zoning plan for the Blanca hydro plant, which is currently the biggest electricity project in the country and also passed financial and infrastructure programmes for the project.
The zoning plan includes detailed blueprints related to the energy, transport and municipal details of the project, as well as environmental protection measures. According to government estimates, the costs of the construction of Blanca stood at 29m Euro, Environment Ministry State Secretary, Marko Starman, said, the Slovene Press Agency reported.
Besides confirming the plans for the Blanca plant, the government also invited state-owned power producer HSE, which is in charge of the lower Sava project to present the long-term financial plan for the whole project. 
The cabinet also called on the economics and environment ministries to come up with a financial plan for accompanying infrastructure that is to be built as part of the lower Sava hydro project.
According to Starman, this is necessary in order to secure funds in future budgets so that one can have a clear scenario about the financing of the investment plans.
Slovenian media reported earlier that there was a wave of disagreement between the finance, environment and economics ministries regarding the financing of the project. 
The finance ministry pondered over the idea of giving the project to a foreign investor instead of HSE and was also averse to approving a loan the HSE had secured from the European Investment Bank for the project. On the other hand, the HSE said this decision allowed the company to launch operations related to the construction of the Blanca Plant.
According to HSE's Bogdan Barbic, the approval of the zoning plan allowed the company to begin purchasing equipment needed to build the plant. But he assured that there are no obstacles to launching works on the Blanca plant, adding that the HSE had already purchased the necessary land. Meanwhile, Sevnica Mayor, Kristijan Janc, where the plant is to be located, said he was only partly happy with the steps taken by the government. He called for stronger communication between the ministries involved in the project as any disagreements in future would only delay the construction of the plants.

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Nova Ljubljanska banka takes out 540m Euro loan

Slovenia's leading bank, Nova Ljubljanska banka (NLB), signed a contract on a 540m Euro loan with a consortium of 13 international banks in London on June 3rd, according to Slovene Press Agency. 
NLB would utilise the loan to fund Slovenian companies in a bid to offer them more diverse financial services under competitive terms, the bank said in a statement. It added this is the biggest international loan ever taken out by a Slovenian bank. The bank stated that the deal was agreed on very favourable terms. The interest rate for the loan, due in five years, is Euribor +0.17% annually, which are the best terms NLB ever negotiated for such a loan on the international capital market. The credit was organised by Bayerische Landesbank, Commerzbank Austria Creditanstalt, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, calyon, DZ Bank, HSH Nordbank, ING Bank NV, KBC Bank NV, Mizuho Bank, Lloyds Bank TSB, Raiffeisen Zentralbank Oesterreich and WestLB. 

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Metal Ravne eyes bigger output

Metal Ravne, a subsidiary of Slovenia's Steel Group, is planning to invest in production due to its strong operations in recent times, New Europe reported recently.
This year five million Euro are earmarked for modernisation plans and the rest of the profit is reserved for next year, when the company plans to build a new rolling facility that would boost production.
According to Tibor Simonka, chairman of Steel Group, the time has come for the group to start investing extensively in order to upgrade and modernise its production facilities. He added that the company was unable to invest during the period of restructuring, but now the strong operations have encouraged investment that would lay the foundations for future operations. In the first quarter of this year, the company made a net profit of 1.15bn tolars (4.8m Euro), which indicated that it has already exceeded its business plan for the whole of the year, company officials told the Slovene press agency.
Last year Metal produced 40,000 tonnes of steel, exceeding production plans for the quarter and the output in the same quarter of last year. According to general manager, Darko Mikec, the strong operations have persuaded the management to undertake extensive investment in production. Sales revenues in this period amounted to 46.4m Euro, an increment of 60% over the first quarter of 2004. Eighty per cent of the sales were generated on foreign markets, primarily in the EU and the US.
Mikec stated that Metal had not earned much last year but since the start of 2005 it has operated better than expected so the company has decided to invest. According to Mikec, the investment into production predicted the upgrade of the outdated sections rolling facility and the purchase of a flattening and cutting machine.
Total investment in production and distribution amounts to 59m Euro for the period 2005-2010. The shareholders of Metal and the management of the Slovenian steel group have approved the investment strategy.

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Telekom Slovenije purchases

Telekom Slovenije, the fixed-line state telco, acquired 75% of, a company specialising in system integration, New Europe reported recently.
The financial terms were not disclosed. The telco recently said that the decision came as a means to speed up and support the transfer of its users to IP communication solutions. Telekom acquired the stake from Avtotehna, a group whose core businesses are IT and car sales.
Avtotehna retains a 25% stake in, which will keep its name. Libor Voncina, the Telekom chief executive, said in a press release on May 31st that the "contribution of to a faster implementation of our IP strategy will help us to successfully face the demands of the Slovenian market."

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