The Minister of Finance told reporters today that the government was ready to sell a quarter of its share of Landsbanki.
Finance minister Bjarni Benediktsson told RÚV that the move would help pay down state debt and lower interest rates. The National Treasury is the largest shareholder in Landsbanki, owning 98% of the bank, and is permitted by law to sell up to 28% of its share.
Landsbanki has apparently been doing well for itself lately, reporting the highest profits of any company in Iceland for the first half of 2013. In all, the bank made a profit of about 15.5 billion ISK after taxes. At this time last year, Landsbanki made 11.9 billion ISK.
The proposal comes at a time when Iceland has had its lowest rate of foreign investment in years. Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson told a group of investors in London this morning that the Icelandic government was working to make the country more attractive for investment.
The proposed sale of the state share in the bank will be put into a larger budget bill, to be submitted to parliament at an unspecified time.
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