The biggest bank robbery in Iceland’s history?


The main purpose of A Holding – aka Baugur – appears to have been to gain hold of the Hafnarfjörður Savings Bank, since plans were already underway to merge it with another savings bank – Sparisjóður Vélstjóra, or the Machinists’ Savings Bank  [originally founded by machinists who worked on ships]. That merger went through in December 2006 and increased the value of the two banks exponentially in the merged company, which was given the name Byr. Incidentally, those plans were – as yet – completely under wraps, so there was clearly some underhanded trading going on – I presume that is the basis of the aforementioned lawsuit, although based on the info I’ve seen that’s not completely clear.

A year later, or in December 2007, the owners of Byr decided to increase the bank’s initial equity by ISK 26.2 billion. Those who already owned shares in the bank –  the stofnfjáreigendur – were invited to increase their investment, and the increase was financed through loans from Glitnir bank – which in turn was largely owned by Baugur.

Four months later, the bank paid dividends to its shareholders – the stofnfjáreigendur – worth ISK 13.5 billion.

A must read article from the Icelandic Weather Report


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