Iceland’s Finance Minister Wants to Sell Landsbankinn

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Iceland’s Finance Minister Wants to Sell Landsbankinn

By Zoë Robert
Landsbankinn

Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

Bjarni Benediktsson, Iceland’s finance minister, wants to make changes to the ownership of Landsbankinn by selling the government’s shares in order to ease the debt of the State Treasury.

Bjarni told ruv.is that he would like to see the Icelandic State hold on to a 40 percent share while other shareholders would not be allowed to own more than 10 to 20 percent in the bank. 

“Parliament has given the authority to sell up to 30 percent of the bank’s shares. I think it is very important that we sell part of these shares in order to help ease the great debt that the treasury faces. Loans were taken out to acquire these shares and it makes sense to sell them,” Bjarni said.

As of April 2013, the Icelandic State holds 97.9 percent of shares in the bank, Landsbankinn hf. holds 1.3 percent and around 1,400 current and former Landsbankinn employees hold 0.8 percent. 

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