| 7.2°C Dublin

Noonan met top bankers and mine tycoons

Finance minister Michael Noonan has met with wealthy international bankers, mining tycoons and vast investment funds over the past six months according to his appointments diary, which was released under the Freedom of Information Act.

Mr Noonan met with top Barclays Bank executive Rich Ricci in January. Mr Ricci was paid a staggering €52m by Barclays last year. His wife owns horses in Ireland.

The Fine Gael minister also had face time with Bill McMorrow and Bobby Shriver of US real estate investor Kennedy Wilson. Last October, the firm bought about €1.3bn-worth of UK loans from Bank of Ireland as part of a consortium. The company is also a shareholder in Bank of Ireland .

Mr Noonan also met MBNA and Bank of America in his Dail office. Last week, private equity giant Apollo announced it was buying MBNA's Irish and UK credit card operations.

Mr Noonan spent time with a delegation from Blackstone in November as well as meeting with US fund Franklin Templeton. Last month, it emerged that a Franklin Templeton fund headed by star trader Michael Hasenstab had made a multi-billion bet on Irish government bonds.

Other meetings were with resources firm Xstrata, which bought out its Irish partners at the Pallas Green zinc mine last year, and the chairman and CEO of Arab National bank.

Sunday Indo Business