Iceland to accelerate sale of retail assets
Iceland is expected to speed up the sale of retail assets belonging to Landsbanki as the country attempts to pay off the majority of its debt to the UK within months.
The Mail on Sunday has reported that the committee which runs the bank will look to raise £1.5 billion in asset sales in the next few months. The monies raised will help the Icelandic government to repay the £2.3 billion owed as a result of the collapse of the bank's subsidiary, Icesave. The UK and Dutch governments paid out €3.9 billion to reimburse their citizens affected by the bank’s failure.
The nationalised Icelandic bank has financial interest in House of Fraser, Hamleys toy shops and frozen food chain Iceland.
Icelandic voters rejected a proposal to pay back the debt in a referendum held last April but president Olafur Ragnar Grimsson subsequently decided that the Landsbanki assets would be used to repay the bank's debt. An Icelandic court also ruled that British and Dutch deposits should be given priority over bond holders.
The Iceland frozen food chain has already been put up for sale and has been reported to have attracted interest from a number of retailers.
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