Wednesday 13 December 2017

Bank of Ireland shares sink on latest stake sale

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Reuters
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Reuters
Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

Shares in Bank of Ireland plunged as much as 8pc yesterday, and closed down 7.81pc at 35.4 cents each. The stock came under pressure after shareholder Fairfax Financial said on Monday it would cut its stake in the bank.

The Canadian investor is selling half of its reminaing 5.8pc stake in the bank, bought at 10 cents a share in 2011.

Swiss-based food group Aryzta's stock fell 7.57pc to 58 a share after the company announced a €466.6m deal to buy a stake in France's Picard Group.

Origin Enterprises shares were down 1.81pc at the close to €8.15 each, Aryzta is in the process of cutting its stake in the Irish company.

The ISEQ index of Irish shares closed down 81.9 points at 6019.49.

Elsewhere industries and markets that had led the rally in European shares during the first three months of the year suffered the biggest declines yesterday - the last day of the quarter. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index lost 0.6pc to 397.3 at the close of trading in London, trimming its best first-quarter rally since 1998.

Carmakers and chemicals companies fell the most among 19 industry groups. Benchmark national gauges of Germany and Portugal, up more than 22pc this year, dropped at least 0.8pc.

The benchmark gauge for European equities pared its quarterly advance to 16pc. It reversed gains of as much as 0.5pc earlier yesterday after a report showed the annual rate of inflation for the euro area fell for a fourth month.

It then trimmed losses of as much as 1pc as US consumer confidence increased more than forecast.

The Stoxx 600 index had reached each its highest level since 2000 on March 20. The gauge closed 2pc away from that record yesterday.

Irish Independent

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