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The Financial Supervisory Authority finds Kaupþing ehf. eligible to acquire a qualifying holding in Arion banki hf.

22.9.2017

The Financial Supervisory Authority has today concluded that Kaupþing ehf. is eligible to acquire a qualifying holding in Arion banki hf. up to 33% of the banks shares and its subsidiaries Stefnir hf., Valitor hf., Vörður tryggingar hf. and Vörður líftryggingar hf., with reference to Chapter VI of the Act No. 161/2002 on Financial Undertakings and Chapter X of the Act No. 100/2016 on Insurance Activities.

The decision takes effect when shares in Arion banki hf. are admitted to trading on a regulated market. Prior to that, the Authority's conditions from 8 January 2010 for Kaupþing ehf.'s ownership of the bank through Kaupskil ehf. will remain unchanged.

The Financial Supervisory Authority has also concluded that Kaupþing ehf. and Taconic Capital Advisors LP and associated entities are acting in concert within the meaning of Point 25c of Paragraph 1 of Article 1a of the Act on Financial Undertakings, cf. Chapter VI of the same Act. Their combined qualifying holding in the bank can therefore only be up to 33%.

The Financial Supervisory Authority shall assess whether a party intending to acquire a qualifying holding is qualified to own the holding, having regard to the sound and prudent operation of the financial undertaking. The assessment is based on the criteria set out in Paragraph 2 of Article 42 of the Act on Financial Undertakings. The European Supervisory Authorities' Guidelines from 2008 and 2016 are also taken into consideration.[1]

Kaupþing ehf. currently holds a 57.42% share in Arion banki hf. through its subsidiary Kaupskil ehf. The ownership is subject to the aforementioned conditions set by the Financial Supervisory Authority on 8 January 2010.

The Financial Supervisory Authority's assessment was based on Kaupþing ehf.'s notification, its enclosed documents and other information the Authority obtained from the company.

The Financial Supervisory Authority's assessment emphasised the proposed short-term holding of Kaupþing ehf. in Arion banki hf. and that the bank is a systemically important financial undertaking as defined by the Financial Stability Council. Therefore, Kaupþing ehf.'s intentions in relation to the Arion banki hf.'s governance was specifically examined as well as its ability to provide additional capital to the bank under special circumstances.


[1] Guidelines for the prudential assessment of acquisitions and increases in holdings in the financial sector required by Directive 2007/44/EC (CEBS/2008/214) and Joint Guidelines on the prudential assessment of acquisitions and increases of qualifying holdings in the financial sector (JC/GL/2016/01).

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