Icelandic banks to merge? Skip to content

Icelandic banks to merge?

By Iceland Review

Shareholders in Kaupthing and Glitnir met recently to discuss a possible merge. According to the Iceland Stock Exchange (ICEX), the banks are currently worth over ISK 1,100 billion (EUR 12.3 billion, USD 16.1 billion).

According to Morgunbladid, Lýdur Gudmundsson and Ágúst Gudmundsson, the main owners of Exista, the largest shareholder in Kaupthing, are not particularly keen on a merge and the CEO of Kaupthing, Hreidar Már Sigurdsson, and the bank’s chairman, Sigurdur Einarsson, are not interested in merging with Glitnir either.

But the CEO of FL Group, Hannes Smárason, and the CEO of Baugur Group, Jón Ásgeir Jóhannesson, did express their interest in a merge between the two banks during the shareholder discussions, as Morgunbladid reports.

Experts say the discussions are not likely to lead to a merge at this point, but say it could be a smart move for Kaupthing and Glitnir.

A merge would create a very powerful company by Icelandic standards, which would enable the purchase of a foreign bank, e.g. Nordea, and thereby create other investment opportunities.

Nordea is the largest Nordic bank and Exista already owns a share in it through its ownership of Sampo.

Click here to read more about the Icelandic banks.

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