Serbia is capable of managing the Commercial Bank

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NBS Governor Jorgovanka Tabakovic said that Serbia is capable of managing the Commercial Bank, eight days after the deadline for submission of binding offers for sale of the largest state bank in Serbia.

In an interview with Blic, she said that the bank’s success depends not on being private or state-owned, but on the expertise and commitment of the management team and the control mechanism.

– “Since the state became the owner of 83 percent of Komercijalna Banka at the end of November, conditions have been met for the state to show how responsible the owner is. Earlier, the mechanisms of the contract were such that the state could not make any decision due to the veto of foreign co-owners. Is a bank, like KFW, which is state-owned, a proof that every state needs a bank through which to implement its strategic projects?” – Tabakovic points out.

Asked if she would sell the company for the amount she could earn in five or six years, she said that of course she would not. “My role as governor is to assist the state as a shareholder in the privatization process, while appreciating the reputation of the future owner and the financial stability that the future owner needs to preserve”, Tabakovic said.

She pointed out that the state has shown how responsible the owner is, to manage public finances responsibly, which, among other things, is shown by the unemployment rate of 9.5 percent, as well as foreign investments amounting to at least 3.5 billion euros this year. The governor also recalled the stability of the dinar and inflation, which have remained at the same level for years.

– “The relative stability of the exchange rate has made us have four macroeconomic indicators which led to Serbia having a risk premium of six basis points on November 22 this year, and that same premium amounted to 340 points in 2012. Interest on euro loans fell for 4.6 percent, and euribor is only 0.7 percent in this”, the NBS governor said.

She also reminded that inflation was brought to two percent and the level of problem loans in banks decreased from 22 to 4.56 percent in October. “Finally, we reduced the country’s public debt from 72 percent of GDP to 52 percent, with a tendency of further decline and opened the door to foreign investment growth”, Jorgovanka Tabakovic said, noting that the savings from 2012 were increased 4.5 times and amounted to 77.5 billion dinars.