​Far out Friday: Big bank exec forced to sell private island

by AB29 Nov 2013
Italy plans to buy a Mediterranean island back from CBA’s chief information officer less than two months after he bought it.

Michael Harte paid $4.34 million for the tiny island of Budelli at auction last month. In August the CBA reported annual earnings of $7.8 billion - the biggest-ever profit for an Australian bank.

Budelli is part of the La Maddalena island group which lies between Sardinia and Corsica. The pristine island is a national park, renowned for its famous pink sandy beach on the island’s southeast side.

But Italy's Senate has now passed a special dispensation which would allow the state to buy back the island.

The Government has until January 8 to decide whether to claim Budelli back for its original asking price under a deal in which Mr Harte would be reimbursed.

"The island of Budelli could finally return to public ownership... to our immense satisfaction,'' said a statement from a group of MPs from SEL, a Left-wing party, which had pushed for the island to be reclaimed.