Iceland Review 29 Mar 2017: Icelandic State Was Deceived in Bank Sale

The German bank Hauck & Aufhäuser was never an actual investor in Búnaðarbankinn bank when the Icelandic State’s 45.8 percent stake in the latter was sold in January of 2003. This is the conclusion of the Special Investigation Commission (SIC) of Alþingi, the Icelandic parliament, RÚV reports. SIC concludes that authorities were systematically deceived leading up to and following the sale.

A press release from the committee states that detailed written documents indisputably show that the German bank, Kaupþing hf. In Iceland, Kaupthing Bank in Luxembourg, and a group of men working for and on behalf of investor Ólafur Ólafsson used secret agreements to hide the true ownership of shares attributed to Hauck & Aufhäuser. The actual owner was instead the offshore company Welling & Partners, registered on Tortola, the British Virgin Islands. With numerous secret agreements and transfers of funds, among others from Kaupþing hf. to an account of Welling & Partners at Hauck & Aufhäuser, the German bank was guaranteed indemnity in the deal with Búnaðarbankinn.

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