Around 2,000 Icelandic Pensioners Live Abroad

Tenerife elderly senior Spain

New data from Statistics Iceland shows that there were around 51,000 Icelandic pensioners as of December 2020—an increase of 3.9% from what this number was a year ago. Just under 2,000 Icelandic pensioners live abroad now, which represents 4% of the total number of pensioners. The number of pensioners living abroad has increased by 45% since 2017.

Around 24,000 of the recorded pensioners are men and 27,000 are women. About a quarter of the individuals on pensions were under 70 years of age; almost half were 75 or older.

The number of pensioners on disability has increased by 0.3% between this year and last, almost 20,000 people total. This is a lower relative increase than has been seen in previous years. Close to 12,000 pensioners on disability are women and around 8,000 are men.

The number of individuals receiving rehabilitation pensions increased by a quarter, just around 3,000 at the end of last year. Rehabilitation pensions differ from disability pensions in that they are temporary.

See the full report, in English, here.

Up to 35% of State-Owned Íslandsbanki For Sale

Icelandic state-owned bank Íslandsbanki launched its share offering at 9.00am this morning. The bank will sell up to 35% of its share capital in the initiative, which stands until June 15, following which all its shares will be listed on Nasdaq Iceland (the Icelandic stock exchange). Two foreign investment companies and two local pension funds are said to be the cornerstone investors in the initiative. RÚV reported first.

Government Moves to Reduce State Ownership

Of Iceland’s three largest banks, just one (Arion Bank) is privately owned. The other two are in state ownership (Íslandsbanki, currently at 100% and Landsbankinn at 98.2% state ownership). Iceland’s current governing coalition prioritised reducing state ownership of financial institutions in the government agreement made at the beginning of its term. A sale of part of Íslandsbanki was discussed earlier in the term but side-lined during the pandemic as conditions for the sale were not considered favourable. Government officials have argued that the sale could free up funds for investment in essential infrastructure.

Read More: Sale of State-Owned Banks

A notice on Íslandsbanki’s website states that the bank’s estimated market value following the offering is ISK 150 billion ($1.24 billion/€1 billion). The aim is to sell over 636 million shares, the suggested retail price of which is between ISK 71 and 79 per share. The offering will take place both through a public offering of shares to institutional investors and retail investors in Iceland and through a private placement to specific institutional investors in various other jurisdictions.

Four Key Investors

Foreign investment funds have already committed to buying in the bank, according to Íslandsbanki. Funds managed by Capital World Investors have committed to purchasing nearly 77 million shares while RWC Asset Management LLP has committed to purchasing nearly 31 million shares. Icelandic pension funds Gildi-lífeyrissjóður and Lífeyrissjóður verzlunarmanna have also committed to buying more than 46 million shares each. These four parties are said to be the cornerstone investors in the offering.