Serbia's Agrobanka plans up to EUR 100mn capital increase in 2012.

By bne IntelliNews December 23, 2011
Serbia's Agrobanka plans to inject some EUR 50mn to EUR 100mn of fresh capital next year, its chairman Dusan Antonic told news agency Beta. The capital hike could take place by the middle of 2012, Antonic said, adding Agrobanka has already received the preliminary approval of the state, which is its single largest shareholder. "We would like to raise Agrobanka at a higher level considering the significance of the agriculture and the increasing needs for funding of the sector," Antonic said. Agrobanka ranked 11th largest bank by assets among Serbia's 33 active lenders at the end of September when its assets totalled RSD 78.6bn (EUR 760mn). The Serbian government controls 20% of Agrobanka, Hypo Custody follows with a 6.9% stake, while the remainder belongs to smaller shareholders. Agrobanka is a blue-chip company on the Belgrade bourse. According to Antonic, Agrobanka could issue by the end of 2011 new shares on behalf of the state and thus raise its ownership to 25%. The bank's shareholders decided in November to convert its debt to the state into equity via issuing RSD 493mn of new shares. Antonic also said the share of bad loans at Agrobanka is between 20% and 25%, adding there is a deficit of sources for long-term financing and working capital because of the economic crisis. Beta also quoted Branislav Pesic, board member at Agrobanka, as saying the bank posted a nine-month loss of RSD 2.2bn. He expects a negative result for the whole of 2011. "I think we will not post a positive result this year precisely because of the poor state of the economy, which was hit by the second wave of the crisis," Pesic said.
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