Glitnir Shareholders Support Nationalization Skip to content

Glitnir Shareholders Support Nationalization

Despite originally being against the state’s acquisition of 75 percent of the shares in Glitnir Bank and criticizing the government and the Central Bank’s actions, Glitnir’s largest shareholders have now stated that they support the move.

“Glitnir’s current largest shareholders have all stated their support to the government offer, which will be presented for shareholder approval at the shareholders’ meeting,” said chairman of the board of Glitnir Bank Thorsteinn Már Baldvinsson in a statement issued by Glitnir yesterday.

The meeting is scheduled for October 11.

“We have had very good dialogue with government officials, ministers and representatives of all political parties over the weekend and it is clear to me that there is a general support to this agreement,” Baldvinsson said in the statement.

Last week Baldvinsson said that the biggest mistake that he had undertaken in a long time was to seek help from the Central Bank because of Glitnir’s troubles.

The largest shareholder in Glitnir Bank through Stodir Invest, Jón Ásgeir Jóhannesson, chairman of the board of Baugur Group, was also dissatisfied with how things had unfolded as he told the media last week.

CEO of Glitnir Bank Lárus Welding sounded optimistic when commenting on the international banking crisis in yesterday’s statement issued by Glitnir.

“The challenge for the banking sector is something we must solve in cooperation across country borders. In relation to Iceland: What we see, as part of the international challenge within finance, is an uncertainty in the financial market,” Welding said, then continuing on a more positive note.

“We all know that the long term prospects of the Icelandic economy are strong, building on seafood, hydro and geothermal energy, as well as aluminum exports. The Icelandic banking system is diversified, where all the Icelandic commercial banks have furthermore hedged the effect of ISK currency movements on the capital ratios which are strong compared to those of our peers.”

“The government’s ownership in Glitnir will further strengthen the capital base of Glitnir and remove all doubt that the bank can cope with the current environment,” Welding claimed.

Baldvinsson added, “I welcome the announcement of the prime minister that all deposits placed by our customers will be backed, regardless of the amount placed,” concluding, “We will continue our work towards balance sheet reduction. We started that process earlier this year.”

Baldvinsson told RÚV last night in response to the emergency law that it would not change much for Glitnir Bank since the state has already become a majority owner of the bank.

Click here to read more about the emergency law and here to read yesterday’s news of the economic situation in Iceland.

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