iðnaðar- og viðskiptaráðherra
Presentation at the Opening of Kaupthing Stockholm
September 14th 2000.
The development of the financial market started later in Iceland than elsewhere in the Nordic region. The hyper-inflation through the seventies and eighties was the major obstacle in the formation of well-developed financial market. In the last ten years we have seen a stable high growth economy with huge economic potential. The securities market has developed at a rapid rate. The public has especially rushed into the equity market. Most of the participants have seen a high reward for the equity investment. The former state-banks were transformed into limited liability companies, listed on the exchange and partially privatised. This has enhanced the competition in the market.
One of the major influences on the financial market in Iceland in the last five to seven years has been our relationship with the EU through the European Economic Area. Our legislation in the financial market is based on EU}s directives. This has had a very positive effect on the market as market participants can be assured that our regulatory environment resembles that of other EEA countries. Our participation in the EEA also enables companies like Kaupthing to use their Icelandic banking license to open their branch in Sweden with as little effort as possible. Our relationship with EU has been good. We follow of course very closely the developments of the single market, the euro and the enlargement of the Union. We will, as probably everyone in the Nordic region, be very interested to see how the Danes will cast their votes on September 28th.
Ladies and Gentlemen. I would like to stress again how enjoyable it is to be here today to celebrate the opening of Kaupthing Stockholm. I would like to congratulate Kaupthing with their achievement. Thank you.