Slovakia's troubled IRB bank said on December 16 that the central bank was lifting its two year old regime of forced administration.
The National Bank of Slovakia (NBS) placed IRB, which had been suffering severe liquidity problems, under forced administration in December 1997. IRB swung into loss in 1996 after heavy loan provisioning.
The NBS at the time provided an unspecified amount of refinancing credits to the state-controlled bank, which IRB now says have been repaid. Late on December 15, Finance Minister Brigita Schmögnerová told parliament that restructuring IRB had cost around 13 billion crowns ($312 million).
"The National Bank of Slovakia issued a decision on lifting the forced administration and this decision will be delivered to the (IRB) administrator in the course of today, December 16," IRB said in a statement. "By this, IRB joins other fully fledged banks and starts to develop its standard activity to the full extent," it said.
The state controls some 35% of IRB through the FNM privatisation agency. Earlier this week, Schmögnerová said IRB was among those Slovak banks which fall under the terms of a plan to rid the banking sector of most of its bad loans by the end of the year.