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Decision by the Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs to initiate a sale of the state´s shares in Íslandsbanki hf.

The Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs (the Minister) announced in a letter to Icelandic State Financial Investments (ISFI) on January 29, 2021, the decision to initiate a process of selling the state´s shares in Íslandsbanki hf. based on a proposal from ISFI from December 17, last year. In his decision, the Minister takes notice of the Parliamentary reviews by the Economic Affairs and Trade Committee and the Budget Committee, e.g., regarding the size of the IPO being in the range between a minimum of 25% and a maximum of 35% of outstanding shares.

Furthermore, it was also requested in the letter that subscriptions below 1 million ISK would be fully met, should the offering be oversubscribed. In addition, there are references emphasizing that the sale will strengthen competition in the financial market and provide foundation for disbursed ownership of the bank. The letter discloses that the Ministry and ISFI will co-operate in informing the Parliamentary committees on the progress of the sale process. The letter also requests that ISFI explore the possibility of dividend payment by the bank prior to the sale of shares.

ISFI welcomes the decision of the Minister and his recommendations. They reflect the institution´s objectives to support disbursed ownership, strong and healthy financial market, active competition, efficiency, transparency and effective transmission of information.

Since the decision by the Minister has now been made, a formal sales process can now commence in accordance with law, beginning with the appointment of international and domestic advisors in co-operation with Central Public Procurement and Íslandsbanki hf. and advertisements in that regard will be published within the European Economic Area later this week. Thereafter, due diligence will commence, the drafting of an offering memorandum, which will be reviewed by Financial Supervisory Authorities of the Central Bank of Iceland, and initial presentations to possible investors.

At this moment, it is not possible to indicate exactly when the sale process will be concluded, since the complex process depends on various external factors. In accordance with ISFI´s objectives and the Minister´s recommendation, ISFI will ensure transparency in the sale of the shares and active provision of information as the sale will progress.

For further information contact Jón G. Jónsson, Director General of ISFI, +354 550 1701.