Sale of State-Owned Bank Could Begin in Coming Weeks Skip to content
Bjarni Benediktsson
Photo: Minister of Finance Bjarni Benediktsson. .

Sale of State-Owned Bank Could Begin in Coming Weeks

Minister of Finance Bjarni Benediktsson hopes that the government’s sale of Íslandsbanki can begin in the next few weeks, RÚV reports. Icelandic State Financial Investments (ISFI) is ready with a proposal on how to move forward and is only waiting for a good time to submit it to Parliament.

“I hope that in the next few weeks, we can see if we get a proposal from ISFI and submit to Parliament a proposal on how to go about it. I think it’s important that we get it done,” Bjarni said yesterday.

Bjarni also reiterated that according to the Ministry of Finance’s policy, it’s the role of the Icelandic State Financial Investments to initiate the next steps in selling the bank. Today, Lárus Blöndal, Chairman of the board of ISFI confirmed that a proposal on how to move forward with the sale of Íslandsbanki is ready and awaits only a suitable time to be submitted. According to Lárus, ISFI intends to submit the proposal in the next few days but no assertions can be made. It is important that the proposal will receive proper treatment when it’s presented to Parliament. That is one of the reasons that ISFI waited to submit the proposal until after Parliament met again after the summer.

Íslandsbanki is entirely owned by the Icelandic state, which also owns 98% of Landsbankinn. The current Government Agreement states that the government wishes to find ways to lessen state ownership of financial corporations. Aríon Banki, Íslandsbanki and Valitor laid off 134 people yesterday, and at the same time, the government and capital area municipalities introduced transport construction proposals for ISK 120 billion ($974m/€891m). Road tolls have been mentioned as a way to fund the proposal, but Bjarni had stated that another way to finance the project could be to sell state-owned banks.

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