Koper, 14 January 2011 – Banka Koper and the University of Primorska Faculty of Management signed a partnership contract yesterday, signifying a consolidation of their relationship and the promise to progress from a theoretical partnership to concrete projects in the fields of education, research and consultation. This type of collaboration is a good example of connecting the economy and the academic sphere, both within the region and beyond, contributing to the development of both fields; this was pointed out by Chairman of the Board Ezio Salvai and by Associate Professor Dr. Anita Trnavčevič, Faculty Dean.
“As a socially responsible company and founding partner, we wish to be involved in various projects of the University of Primorska. We would like to find new experts to take on responsibilities in Banka Koper and the Intesa Sanpaolo Group. Today we signed an umbrella agreement with the Faculty of Management Koper, which will be followed by concrete forms of collaboration. In addition to bachelor's theses and other research projects in the field of banking, I feel that work experience is the most important thing that students are missing, so we plan to offer them work experience in banking. There is also the MIKROBIZ entrepreneurial portal, where we have provided a large number of financial instruments for establishing, managing and developing new business activities. These and other forms of collaboration will undoubtedly contribute to an increased level of financial knowledge and practice in the environment where both Banka Koper and the Faculty are present,” stressed Ezio Salvai, Chairman of the Board, and Mario Henjak, Management Board Member, at yesterday’s formal signing of the agreement.
“Banka Koper and the University of Primorska Faculty of Management are making the most of the potential and synergy of the Primorska region, as well as the wider economic and university sphere. Signing a partnership agreement is a consolidation of our relationship and a promise to progress from a theoretical partnership to concrete projects in the fields of education, research and consultation – from bachelor’s theses and student research projects in the field of banking to student work experience and concrete projects, such as the MIKROBIZ entrepreneurial portal. This type of collaboration can serve as an example of connecting the economy and the academic sphere, and it also provides new possibilities for acquiring practical knowledge and involving students in the business sector. This is organised by the Alumni FM Faculty association,” said Associate Professor Dr. Anita Trnavčevič, Dean of the Faculty of Management Koper, which celebrated its 15th anniversary in December.
Everyone agreed that a good banking system and a nurturing university environment are both important factors for a stable economy in the local and wider environment. Collaboration between both spheres and making the most of positive synergies will result in development and benefits for everybody, but especially for the young, who will be provided with new career opportunities in the future.
Themed Discussion on Current Trends in Slovenia’s Credit Market
The second part of the event comprised a discussion with several eminent financial experts on the topic of evaluating current trends in Slovenia’s credit market. Participating were Igor Kragelj, Vice-President of the Banka Koper, d. d., Management Board, Rudi Grbec, Istrabenz, d. d., Management Board Member, and Aleksander Vozel, Banka Celje, d. d., Management Board Member. The discussion was moderated by Associate Professor Dr. Primož Dolenc, Chairman of the Department of Finance at the University of Primorska Faculty of Management Koper.
The discussion started with information on Slovenia’s debt in the international markets – amounting to 125 basis points over the reference interest rate – which is over one percentage point more than two years ago. It is clear that the financial market crisis is far from over and the main question discussed at the round table was how this is reflected in the credit market.
Igor Kragelj summed up the activities in the banking sector in the last year, saying that conditions seem to be improving after all. Aleksander Vozel commented on the information that the volume of apartment loans in Slovenia has doubled in the last two years, while the volume of company credits is down by 50%. Generally speaking, this is a consequence of banks restructuring their portfolios and transactions in order to reduce risk and activate real estate transactions. Data shows that the cost of company debt has increased considerably over the last two years in relation to the reference interest rate. According to Rudi Grbec, this is hindering the operation of companies and the restart of the economy. In Igor Kragelj's opinion, the current situation is also a consequence of the structure and financing of Slovenia's banking sector – more than a third of banking sector financing comes from abroad and these resources are expensive. In answer to a question from the audience regarding the future of the Euro as the common currency and the speculation about its abolishment, the participants were of the opinion that such speculation has no foundation in reality and that the Euro has a bright future ahead.
UP Faculty of Management Koper