December 10, 2008 / 6:10 PM / in 10 years

Libyan fund in talks over Kaupthing unit-Luxembourg

LUXEMBOURG, Dec 10 (Reuters) - Talks have taken place over the possible sale of the Luxembourg arm of troubled Icelandic bank Kaupthing KAUP.IC to a Libyan sovereign fund, a Luxembourg minister confirmed on Wednesday.

Budget and Treasury Minister Luc Frieden, answering a question in parliament, said there had been discussions with several possible buyers.

“Also in the last days with the sovereign wealth fund mentioned in the parliamentary question,” Frieden told parliament he said of a question that referred to the Libya’s state Libyan Investment Authority.

Frieden added that discussions with prospective buyers had to be concluded by year-end.

The Libyan Investment Authority fund had emerged as the front-runner to buy Kaupthing Luxembourg after a decision on a possible sale to an unidentified buyer was postponed last week for what Belgian authorities said were technical reasons.

Other suitors that have been cited to have shown interest in picking up the Kaupthing’s Belgian customers include online bank Keytrade Bank, a subsidiary of France’s Credit Agricole (CAGR.PA) and German bank Landesbank Nord. (Reporting by Michele Sinner and Bate Felix; editing by Mark John)

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