One massive surprise of the summer was the acquisition of 5% of shares in Kaupthing by Quatari Sheik Mohamed bin Khalifa Al-Thani. Surprise because even though few expected the bank to be nationalized before the end of the year most did not consider shares in the Icelandic banks a good investment at the time, especially 5%.
Kaupthing blasted it as great news that showed confidence that wealthy foreign investors had in the bank. Turns out like most of the dishes cooked up and served by the management’s of the Icelandic banks, it was too good to be true.
A company in the Caribbean, owned by Al-Thani borrowed the money which financed the transaction from two other Caribbean companies which in turn got the money from Kaupthing. This is reported by Morgunbladid.
One of the companies belonges to Olafur Olafsson, one of Kaupthing’s largest shareholders who was one of the select few picked by the Progressive Party to receive Bunadarbankinn when it was nationalised and then turned into Kaupthing. The bank then struck a currency deal where the bank bought euros from Al-Thani which landed him enough profit to pay up the loan for the shares. All a big scam to keep the illusion going.
Al-Thani and Olafur are reported to be friends.