Saturday 20 January 2018

Ireland will have to make decision on planned AIB IPO in next 10 days - Noonan

Planned initial public offering of Allied Irish Bank (ALBK.I) (stock photo)
Planned initial public offering of Allied Irish Bank (ALBK.I) (stock photo)
Louise Kelly

Louise Kelly

Ireland will have to decide in the next 10 days on whether to press ahead with a planned initial public offering of Allied Irish Bank (ALBK.I) or put it off until later this year, Finance Minister Michael Noonan has said.

"The first window was from mid-May to the end of June, we're in the middle of that window now so I'll have to make a decision either to go ahead or to wait for the next window in the autumn," Mr Noonan told RTE News.

"We're watching the markets very carefully, which are quite benign, especially towards bank shares at present, but we're watching other events as well that could put us off track, like the election in the UK. The decision hasn't been made yet but will have to be made in the next 10 days."

Earlier on Monday, Labour party leader Brendan Howlin called on the Government to postpone the flotation until European rules can be changed to allow the proceeds to be used for capital investment.

"It is in the best interests of the Irish people" that the money be used for investment in roads, houses, transport and sewerage, Mr Howlin said in an interview on Newstalk radio.

The sale of 25pc of AIB in the public flotation could raise as much as €3bn for the State.

It has previously been indicated that it is the Government's intention to use the proceeds to repay national debt.

More to follow...

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