The political turmoil in Iceland following the resignation of its prime minister last week could delay the country's long-awaited re-privatization of three major banks, the finance minister said on Tuesday.
Bjarni Benediktsson said holding legislative elections this year would likely delay Iceland's plans to sell stakes in the banks it bailed out after its financial crisis.
"It has become less realistic to privatize public shares in 2016 as we originally aimed for — I am referring to the fact that we are going to elections later this year," the minister of finance and economic affairs said at a conference in London.
Iceland is likely to bring forward its elections to the fall this year from April 2017, following the resignation of Prime Minister Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson. He was the first major public figure to resign in the wake of the so-called Panama Papers leaks, which showed that his family had sheltered money offshore.
Gunnlaugsson has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.