Group of Investors Buys Iceland’s MP Bank

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Group of Investors Buys Iceland’s MP Bank

mpbank-logoMP Bank did not fulfill the conditions of the Icelandic Financial Supervisory Authority (FME) on equity ratio at the end of last year and was given an extension to improve the situation. New investors have now contributed ISK 5.5 billion (USD 49 million, EUR 34 million) to the bank, increasing its equity ratio to 24 percent.

MP Bank is so small that it doesn’t require any major improvements. It hasn’t received any sponsorship or payment from the state, which is what I find most important,” the bank’s majority owner Skúli Mogensen said at a press conference yesterday, according to Fréttabladid.

Mogensen holds a 17.45 percent share, which is evaluated at ISK 965 million (USD 8.5 million, EUR 5.9 million). Among other domestic owners is the pension fund Lífeyrissjódur verzlunarmanna, which holds an 8.9 percent share.

Foreign investors hold an almost 23 percent share combined. Among them are Joe Lewis, the owner of the British football club Tottenham, and the Rowland family, who bought Kaupthing Bank in Luxembourg from the bank’s resolution committee in mid-2009, each of whom hold a share of 9.64 percent.

The investors bought the subsidiary of MP Bank along with certain assets, including its operations in Lithuania. Other assets were left behind in a company owned by MP Bank’s former owners, Austurbraut. These include risky assets and operations in western Romania.

Some issues have yet to be settled after the banking collapse, such as the Exeter case. If the conclusion of the case is not in MP Bank’s favor, all obligations will fall onto Austurbraut. “The risk has been eliminated from MP Bank. That is the key issue,” Mogensen said.

Click here to read more about stories involving MP Bank and here to read more about the Exeter case.