Íslandsbanki's share offering and the listing of the Banks shares on Nasdaq Iceland received the award as the "Trade of the Year" during the Innherji awards ceremony on Wednesday, 15 December. Innherji is the new business website of Icelandic news site Vísir.
Birna Einarsdóttir, CEO of Íslandsbanki, received the award together with Bjarni Benediktsson, Minister of Finance, and Jón Gunnar Jónsson, CEO of ISFI (Icelandic State Financial Investments).
The Icelandic state sold its 35% share in Íslandsbanki through a public share offering in June 2021 and received around ISK 55 billion for the share. The Bank was listed on the Nasdaq Iceland Stock Exchange following the share offering.
The award committee of Innherji states in its review that the share offering and the listing were highly successful despite an outcry in the run-up.
"All parties took care at all levels in this largest initial offering that has ever taken place in this country," says the committee's reasoning.
It also states that a positive development in Íslandsbanki's share price after listing makes the value of the Treasury's share as high as the entire holding was before the share offering, significantly improving the government's debt outlook for the coming years.
"The decision to give the public the opportunity for some priority in the share offering resulted in Íslandsbanki today having the largest group of shareholders of all listed companies on Nasdaq Iceland. Therefore, the sale was not only important towards the goal of reducing the Treasury's risk of banking operations while maximizing the recovery of its share, but also a significant step in restoring public confidence in the stock markets after the financial crisis, "the committee also claimed.
"The Trade of the Year in the opinion of Innherji is, therefore, the privatization of Íslandsbanki. The project proved to be a textbook example of a successful execution, which called for political leadership and foresight, where the seller achieved all his goals. "