Icelandic bank ex-head sentenced over market manipulation | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 19.11.2014
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Icelandic bank ex-head sentenced over market manipulation

The former boss of Icelandic bank Landsbanki has been sentenced to 12-month imprisonment by a court in Reykjavik for manipulating the market.

Sigurjon Arnason, 48, was convicted of manipulating the bank's share price and deceiving investors, creditors and the authorities in the dying days of the bank between Sept. 29 and Oct. 3, 2008.

Two other former executives of the bank were sentenced to nine months with three months served over the same allegations. All pleaded innocent to the charges.

"This sentence is a big surprise to me as I did not nothing wrong," Sigurjon Arnason told news agency Reuters after the sentencing. He and his attorney had not yet decided whether to appeal the verdict in the Supreme Court, Arnason added.

Iceland's banks had gone on an international buying spree in the early 2000s fuelled by cheap foreign loans.

But the global financial crisis in 2008 froze credit markets and Iceland's banks quickly foundered. Landsbanki was one of three banks that racked up $75 billion (59.8 billion euros) in debt before collapsing and crashing the country's economy in 2008.

The fallout from the 2008 crisis continues to this day. Earlier this week, Landsbanki and its successor Landsbankinn agreed to extend a deadline to restructure bonds to the end of the year. If a deal is struck, it will help the government lift capital controls which were imposed due to the crisis.

sri/cjc (AFP, Reuters)