30-Mar-2016: Liquidators' Update, see Deloitte site

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Landsbanki Major Shareholder's Books a Mess

During the bankruptcy proceedings of Samson, a holding company that was owned by tycoon father and son Björgólfur Gudmundsson and Björgólfur Thor Björgólfsson, through which they held their majority share in Landsbanki, it has turned out that the company’s book-keeping was full of glitches.

Loan agreements are lacking in the case of many high transactions, including to four offshore companies in Tortola, worth ISK 800 million (USD 6.4 million, EUR 4.4 million) in total, Stöd 2 reports.  13-Jan-10.

May I introduce the bloody-minded Icelanders

If your ancestors were marauders, you’re not likely to have qualms about keeping £3.6 billion of somebody else’s money.

Iceland’s threat to default on its debt to Britain should surprise no one. Icelanders are, by nature, intrinsically unreasonable. It is part of their charm and the secret of their survival. If the founders of that unique nation . . .

The national genetic records are precise. The men and women who want to repudiate the obligation to repay the loan are directly descended from the heroes of the sagas. When those marauding old Norsemen found that they had mistaken Venice for Constantinople, they sacked it anyway because sacking was their business. Their progeny are not going to feel many qualms about keeping £3.6 billion of somebody else’s money. by Roy Hattersely ~ Guest Contributor - 08-Jan-10.


Iceland's voters set to remain out in the cold Workers blame the IMF, but the fund says it doesn't care about Icesave. Richard Northedge reports

. . .Landsbanki was one of three Icelandic banks that boomed during the past decade, shifting the country's economic focus from fish to financial services. Deposits raised abroad, including from the UK and the Netherlands, totalled six times the island's gross domestic product, briefly putting Icelanders among the richest people in the world. But since all three had to be rescued in 2008, the economy has collapsed and the 320,000 residents face an austerity programme that makes Britain's look insignificant. . .

It will take only a simple majority of voters to reject the law and a large part of Iceland's population is angry at its treatment by the IMF and countries such as Britain. Gunnar Sigurdsson is an artistic director who speaks for a wide range of other workers when he says: "A majority of the Icelandic people are against further co-operation with the IMF. We seriously doubt that the co-operation between Iceland and the IMF is for the benefit of the Icelandic nation. It is becoming clear to us that the agenda of the IMF is primarily to indebt the Icelandic nation in order to protect the interests of investors." . .

Mr Flanagan says the IMF is evaluating the situation and consulting with Iceland and other countries. "As I've said, Icesave has never been a formal condition of the IMF programme and it is not a formal condition now either. What we require at every review is that the mix of policies, macroeconomic targets and external financing be consistent. If it doesn't add up, we simply can't put it in front of our executive board. It would not be accepted.

"Would non-passage of Icesave affect financing assurances? I don't know how these things will play out," he says. "I'm not willing to speculate."  Independent on Sunday - 10-Jan-10.

Iceland faces turmoil after refusal to sign law

Iceland's president has refused to sign legislation to reimburse Britain and the Netherlands for nearly €4bn ($5.7bn, £3.6bn) lost in a failed Icelandic bank, threatening to plunge the crisis-hit country into a fresh round of political and economic turmoil. . .

The decision will be a serious setback for Alistair Darling , UK chancellor, who has spent months trying to craft a deal.

British officials refused to be drawn on the likely implications of Iceland abandoning the deal. However, Mr Darling warned on Monday that failure to pass the law would "make things much more difficult".

There is little appetite in Whitehall to further soften the terms of the loan agreement that was already regarded as generous, giving Iceland an effective grace period of seven years to rebuild its economy. 06-Jan-10.



Iceland Says It Won’t Default Following Junk Rating (Update3)

Jan. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Iceland’s Finance Minister Steingrimur Sigfusson said his government won’t default after its debt was downgraded to junk following a presidential veto of a depositor bill that had sought to repair investor relations.

“I don’t believe there’s anything that points to” Iceland defaulting, Sigfusson said in an interview in Reykjavik yesterday. Even so, “patience toward Iceland is running out. That is a reality we have to face.”  06-Jan-10.

Iceland Blocks Bank Compensation for Foreigners

The president of Iceland blocked a hard fought $5 billion compensation deal with the British and Dutch governments on Tuesday, upending the precarious finances and politics of the island nation and further jeopardizing already frayed ties with Europe and international lenders. . .

The savings of Icelandic citizens were protected by an unlimited domestic deposit guarantee.

In a statement, the British treasury — which along with its Dutch counterpart pushed Iceland to amend a previous bill, making it tougher on Iceland — said that the “government expects Iceland to live up to its obligations.” . . .

“By pushing so hard, the British and the Dutch might push Iceland into bankruptcy and get no money back at all,” said Jon Danielsson, an expert on the Icelandic economy at the London School of Economics.  Deal Books blog in The New York Times - 05-Jan-10.

Iceland’s President urged to reject Icesave bill [with video clip]

Angry Icelanders are petitioning their president, putting pressure on him not to sign a controversial bill that has divided the North Atlantic island.

Tens of thousands of signatures opposing the so-called Icesave legislation were delivered to his official residence.  Euronews website - 02-Jan-10.

Analysis: Icesave: The President’s Dilemma

President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson did not sign the Icesave-bill into law at a meeting with the cabinet yesterday. This was highly unusual, since usually the President would use the occasion to sign all laws ratified by Althingi, Iceland’s Parliament. . .

Many take this as an indication that the President will refuse to sign. He is in a very difficult spot. When he signed a previous bill on Icesave, passed by Althingi in late August 2009 he indicated that the reason was that many preconditions had been set in that bill. Those conditions have been watered out on the insistence of the British and Dutch governments. . .

Two days ago about 35 thousand people have signed a petition urging the President not to sign the bill. At the time of writing in the afternoon of January 1 the number has gone up to almost 55 thousand. 01-Jan-10.

Uproar in Iceland’s parliament over allegedly suppressed Icesave documents

The Icelandic parliament is in turmoil in the third and final debate over Icesave. The parliament’s Budget Committee received last minute communications from British solicitors Mishcon de Reya indicating that they are in possession of important documents that the parliament should familiarise themselves with before making the final decision on the Icesave-bill. . .

The information allegedly suppressed was Mischon de Reya’s evaluation of proceedings against the British Financial Supervisory Authority that may strengthen the position of Iceland in talks about the Icesave-issue.

“I think it is safe to say that any European government, proven guilty of hiding such information, after having been repeatedly asked if all available and relevant information was on the table would not be allowed to remain in control of parliament” said Sigmundur David.  30-Dec-09.

Iceland finalises Landsbanki recapitalisation deal

STOCKHOLM, Dec 16 (Reuters) - The Icelandic government said on Wednesday it had finalised a deal with creditors of failed bank Landsbanki as part of the recapitalisation of its shattered banking system following last year's collapse.

The Icelandic Ministry of Finance said in a statement the state would take an 81 percent stake in the new bank formed out of the wreckage of Landsbanki, recapitalising the bank with an equity contribution of 122 billion Icelandic crowns.  16-Dec-09.

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