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Annex. Calendar of main economic events
OECD Economic Surveys: Iceland
The 2002 budget was passed by the Althingi. The surplus was virtually unchanged from
the budget proposal. Higher expenditures on wages, health care and interest rebates were
offset by cuts in investment and other areas.
A commercial banking license was issued to Kaupthing on 11 January.
On 15 February, Fitch announced its AA- credit rating on obligations in foreign currency for
the Republic of Iceland. It affirmed its ratings of AAA for long-term debt and F1+ for short-term
debt. The outlook on long-term ratings was changed from stable to negative.
The government announced that it was temporarily abandoning its efforts to privatise
Iceland Telecom on 13 March.
On 26 March, the Central Bank announced it would lower the repo rate 50 basis points,
to 9.6 per cent, effective 1 April.
Moody’s Investors Service announced on 16 April that the narrowing in macro imbalances had helped to sustain the stable outlook on Iceland’s Aa3 foreign-currency borrowings
and Aaa ratings for issuing government bonds in local currency.
The Central Bank lowered the repo rate 30 basis points on 30 April, to 9.3 per cent effective 1 May.
The Central bank cut the repo rate 50 basis points, to 8.8 per cent, on 21 May.
The government sold a large portion of its share in Landsbanki, reducing its stake from
68 per cent to 48 per cent of the bank.
On 18 June, the Central bank reduced the repo rate by 30 basis points, to 8.5 per cent,
effective 25 June.
The government announced its plans to sell stakes of 25 per cent or more from its holdings
of Landsbanki and Bunadarbanki.
The Central Bank announced it would lower the repo rate 50 basis points effective
6 August; the rate was cut again on 30 August, to 7.6 per cent, effective 1 September.
© OECD 2003
The Central Bank cut the repo rate to 7.1 per cent, effective 21 September.
The Central Bank cut the repo rate to 6.8 per cent, effective 21 October.
The budget for 2003 was presented; it forecast a surplus of 10.7 billion kronur. The lower
surplus than in the previous year mainly reflected an expectation that asset sales would yield
less revenue in 2003.
The government announced an agreement to sell a 45.8 per cent stake in Landsbanki,
reducing its holdings in the bank to 2.5 per cent. Proceeds from the sale equal about 1½ per
cent of expected 2003 GDP, and most of this would be used to reduce foreign debt.
Moody’s Investors Service upgraded its foreign-currency country rating for bonds and
bank deposits to its highest rating, Aaa.
The Central Bank lowered the repo rate to 6.3 per cent, effective 12 November.
Standard and Poor’s Ratings Services revised its outlook on the Republic of Iceland from
negative to stable, and affirmed its foreign-currency issuer rating of A+/A-1+ and its local currency
issuer rating of AA+/A-1+.
The government announced a preliminary agreement to sell a 45.8 per cent stake in
Bunadarbanki, reducing its holdings in the bank to 9 per cent. Proceeds from the sale equal about
1½ per cent of expected 2003 GDP, and most of this would be used to reduce foreign debt.
The 2003 budget was passed by the Althingi. The forecast for the budget surplus was
raised to 11.5 billion kronur as upward revisions to revenue estimates outweighed additional
expenditure in a number of areas.
The Central Bank lowered the repo rate to 5.8 per cent, effective 18 December.
Alcoa announced its intention to go ahead with the construction of a new aluminium
smelter at Reydarfjördur in the east of Iceland.
The Central Bank lowered the repo rate to 5.3 per cent, effective 18 February.
The parliament passed legislation that allows Alcoa to build an aluminium smelter in the
eastern part of the country.
© OECD 2003
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