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Annex. Calendar of main economic events

Annex. Calendar of main economic events

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OECD Economic Surveys: Iceland



130



December

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.



2002

January

A commercial banking license was issued to Kaupthing on 11 January.

February

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.

March

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.

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.

May

The Central bank cut the repo rate 50 basis points, to 8.8 per cent, on 21 May.

June

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.

July

The government announced its plans to sell stakes of 25 per cent or more from its holdings

of Landsbanki and Bunadarbanki.

August

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



Annex I



131



September

The Central Bank cut the repo rate to 7.1 per cent, effective 21 September.

October

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.

November

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.

December

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.



2003

January

Alcoa announced its intention to go ahead with the construction of a new aluminium

smelter at Reydarfjördur in the east of Iceland.

February

The Central Bank lowered the repo rate to 5.3 per cent, effective 18 February.

March

The parliament passed legislation that allows Alcoa to build an aluminium smelter in the

eastern part of the country.



© OECD 2003



OECD PUBLICATIONS, 2, rue André-Pascal, 75775 PARIS CEDEX 16

PRINTED IN FRANCE

(10 2003 08 1 P) ISBN 92-64-10167-5 – No. 52999 2003

ISSN 0376-6438



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Annex. Calendar of main economic events

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