July 18, 2019 / 8:43 AM / 6 months ago

Slovenian banks Jan-May profit up 16.4%, bad loans fall

LJUBLJANA, July 18 (Reuters) - Slovenian banks had a joint net profit of 268.3 million euros ($301.46 million)in the first five months of 2019 versus 230.5 million in the same period of last year, the Bank of Slovenia said in its monthly report on banks on Thursday.

It said the profit was up mainly due to higher non-interest rate income as well as a fall of bad loans. It warned, however, that continuous low interest rates in the medium term could reduce banks' profits in the future.

Bad loans fell to 1.5 billion euros in May or 3.4% of all loans, down from 3.5% a month before and 4% at the end of 2018.

"The banking system is operating in favourable economic conditions but Slovenia's economic growth can slow down in the future due to increasing risks in international environment," the central bank said, referring mainly to global trade conflicts.

Balance sheet assets increased by 4.3% year-on-year while loans to the non-banking sector were up by 4.7%.

Slovenia only narrowly avoided an international bailout for its banks in 2013. Since then the government reduced its ownership in the banking sector to about 12% at present from over 50% in 2013.

Slovenian banks are mostly owned by foreign banks and investors, including US investment firm Apollo Global Management , Italy's Unicredit and Intesa Sanpaolo , Hungary's OTP bank, Serbia's AIK bank, Russia's Sberbank and Austria's Sparkasse and Addiko Bank.

$1 = 0.89 euros Reporting By Marja Novak; Editing by Angus MacSwan

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