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Flip Flop Flyer
21st Nov 2006, 18:09
Danish tabloid Ekstra Bladet has been running a story about what may be dodgy Icelandic investments, and have tried to follow the paper trail. Here's their editorial, and a link for several stories. Why is this interesting? Well, the Icelandic economy may be on the brink of meltdown. There are considerable Icelandic interests in various European airlines, particularly in the UK and in Scandinavia. One can only guess at what might become of those investments should the meltdown occour, but it will probably not be pretty and might, ultimately, lead to a number of airlines going out of business.

All links are in English.

http://ekstrabladet.dk/nyheder/samfund/article243596.ece

The Editorial:

FOR TEN DAYS, Ekstra Bladet has portrayed how a group of Icelandic investors are juggling with billions of kroner, roubles and dollars. Some of the billions they have put into Danish retail stores, such as the department store Magasin and the television chain Merlin, the property company Keops and the free rag Nyhedsavisen. (and Sterling European Airways/Excel Airways FFF)

IT IS amazing how much money the tycoons of the tiny former Danish colony have at their disposal. Of course, it does help a lot that they do not spend that much on paying taxes. Their Danish attorney Jeffrey Galmond has explained openly to our reporters how profits should just be drawn through scam companies in Luxemburg and on the British Virgin Islands – to dodge the tax.

OUR SERIES OF ARTICLES has aimed to light up the dark shelf companies in the Caribbean. This is a difficult task because the authorities in Luxemburg and on the British Virgin Islands profit from hiding the foreign cash flows.

But the articles have at least shown that Icelandic and Russian investors make use of the same companies and attorneys to a certain extent. The colour of the money is a lot more complicated to determine.

ONE COULD imagine that Icelandic politicians felt that they belonged to the civilised world and that they would therefore be interested in investigating any unlawful acts. But no. Just as the volcano island’s fire-breathing investors are closely intertwined with the group of persons controlling the banks, a character such as Finance Minister Árni M. Mathiesen finds it natural to act as advocate for the speculators.

THE SAME MINISTER demonstrated clairvoyant abilities by proclaiming on television – already before the first article about the money acrobats in Ekstra Bladet – that there was no story there. Everything is straight and legal in the Icelandic business community and banking system. And that’s it.

Someone must have a different perception, seeing that the mere rumour about our articles was able to cause the Icelandic kronur to drop by 2%.

EVEN THOUGH Mr Mathiesen believes that he has no bad conscience, the Minister has reacted with complete silence to a long list of very direct questions which Ekstra Bladet sent to him. In this respect he resembles his idols among the island’s speculators and bank managers who are all remarkably shy when asked about their activities and relationships with Russian billionaires.

THE DANISH MINISTER FOR TAXATION, Kristian Jensen, is more interested in the subject than his reluctant colleague in the North Atlantic. The Tax Minister has initiated a thorough analysis of international equity funds. It is a difficult terrain for law-abiding Danish officials to investigate. But we wish them good luck with their efforts.

If the EU co-operation to combat crime had not been such a joke, it would be obvious to begin by making the two member countries the UK and Luxemburg abolish their tax havens for both white, grey and black money. But now we are dreaming. Sorry.

er340790
21st Nov 2006, 18:40
Interestingly, similar comments have been doing the rounds of some of the expat investment forums this week.

I was considering opening an IceSave account with the Landsbanki - they are offering market beating rates of 5.45%. HOWEVER, the last time a bank was so far ahead of the field it went bump big time - anyone remember BCCI????

The Bank of England were so understanding then. "Clearly investors have to accept that higher returns are associated with higher risk." Very po-faced response considering they gave them their UK banking licence......

Be careful out there.:oh:

frostbite
21st Nov 2006, 21:14
Certainly got some big hooks into the UK.

Baugur own Booker C&C, Somerfield & Iceland - and that's just the ones I can remember!

Podunk
25th Nov 2006, 07:35
Y'all need to check out the Sterling (pun intended) investment oppportunities offered by the Avion Group on the Icelandic Stock Exchange. This is the "parent" of Air Atlanta Icelandic. Seems they are still pretty good at washing Russian Brewery money. Definitely not paying too much for their contractor aircrew! :}

mary_hinge
25th Nov 2006, 08:17
And don't forget:

http://www.director-magazine.com/August05/palmi.html

dontpickit
25th Nov 2006, 10:42
IT IS amazing how much money the tycoons of the tiny former Danish colony have at their disposal. Of course, it does help a lot that they do not spend that much on paying taxes.

Scottish fatalism mode ON

Aye, they'll just get their 6 x 2 plot same as the rest of us in the long run.

Scottish fatalism mode OFF