A group of Chinese investors are currently in negotiations over buying a portion of Islandsbanki, though this is not the first time such negotiations have been reported.
Reuters reports that the investors group is comprised of “Chinese bank ICBC, insurer China Life Insurance Company and a large Chinese private equity fund”, an unnamed source from the Ministry of Finance said. Talks are currently ongoing with the bankruptcy estate of Islandsbanki, previously known as Glitnir, on the subject of possibly buying a stake.
“It’s pleasing that there is an interest in the bank,” chairperson of the bankruptcy estate Steinunn Guðbjartsdóttir said. “It shows foreign investors have a strong belief in the future of the Icelandic economy and that the country can lift capital controls.”
95% of Islandsbanki is owned by creditors via ISB Holding, with the government owning the remaining 5%. It is uncertain how much of the bank the investors are hoping to buy.
The news is similar to a story MBL ran last August. At that time, Chinese investors were reportedly interested in buying up the entirety of the creditors’ portion, which was estimated to be valued at 115 billion ISK, or just under one billion USD.