April 17, 2019 / 11:49 AM / a year ago

Slovenia's Abanka 2018 net profit jumps by 57 pct

LJUBLJANA, April 17 (Reuters) - Slovenia's third-largest bank, Abanka, which is due to be sold in coming months, made a group net profit of 65.6 million euros ($74.17 million) in 2018 versus 41.6 million a year before, amid costs cuts and a decline in bad loans, Abanka said on Wednesday.

The state-owned bank said in a report that non-performing loans fell to 4.6 percent of all loans from 10.2 percent a year before.

The bank has a market share of 9.6 percent in Slovenia, according to balance sheet assets, which rose by 2 percent last year.

Hungarian bank OTP said it was bidding to buy Abanka, while local media reported Serbian bank AIK and U.S. investment fund Apollo were also bidding for the bank.

State investment firm Slovenian Sovereign Holding, which is in charge of privatisation, refused to comment on the sales process.

Slovenia intends to sell all of Abanka by the middle of this year to meet the terms of an agreement to win European Commission approval of state aid to the bank in 2013.

$1 = 0.8845 euros Reporting By Marja Novak, editing by Larry King

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