Foreign Claimants to Acquire Stake in Iceland’s Banks? Skip to content

Foreign Claimants to Acquire Stake in Iceland’s Banks?

By Iceland Review

Ásmundur Stefánsson, the coordinator for groups working on solving Iceland’s economic problems, said that one of the ideas that had surfaced was that foreign claimants to the bankrupt estate of the Icelandic banks would acquire shares in the new banks.

“We have looked at all possibilities and none have been excluded,” Stefánsson told Morgunbladid.

Prime Minister Geir H. Haarde also emphasized that no possibilities had been excluded, pointing out however that the matter is in the hands of the resolution committees, Morgunbladid reports.

“We have to remain in contact with the foreign claimants and they have to be treated fairly and not be discriminated against,” Haarde said.

Vilhjálmur Egilsson, managing director of the Confederation of Icelandic Employers (SA), told Morgunbladid that he favors the idea of foreign claimants overtaking the banks since the state is not a credible bank owner in their view.

“The best way to make peace with them is to have the banks delivered to them, as would happen in a regular bankrupt estate where the claimants overtake it,” Egilsson said.

Egilsson added that the Icelandic state cannot remain the owner of the new banks because if it has no credibility there will be no access to foreign loan capital, which is necessary for companies and households to thrive.

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