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Government proposes radical solution for IRB bank

IRB, the third largest Slovak bank, has been under a caretaker administration imposed by the central bank for almost a year. The measure was taken when the bank ran into serious liquidity problems at the end of 1997. On December 14, the Deputy Premier for Economy, Ivan Mikloš, announced that a three-member commission set up to deal with the IRB case has agreed on a radical solution. Along with Mikloš, the commission includes Finance Minister Brigita Schmögnerová and NBS governor Vladimír Masár.

The goal of the proposed solution is restructuring the bank and improving its loan portfolio. This should be done by settling the bank's losses from its share capital, writing off classified loans from reserves created for this purpose, primarily in the NBS, and finding a new solution to the problem of the most important assets of the IRB - soft loans the IRB provided for the completion of the Mochovce nuclear power plant and for housing construction.

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