Tuesday 12 December 2017

Strict conditions as bank set for biggest European flotation of year

Finance Minister Michael Noonan Photo: Gareth Chaney, Collins
Finance Minister Michael Noonan Photo: Gareth Chaney, Collins
Charlie Weston

Charlie Weston

Members of the public will have to meet strict conditions to buy shares in AIB, in a flotation that is likely to be the largest in Europe this year.

These include a minimum investment amount of €10,000, and a requirement that you will have to be a client of a registered stockbroker, a person familiar with the upcoming flotation said.

The Irish Independent can reveal for the first time the full details of how small investors can buy into the multi-billion euro share offering.

The Government is likely to raise between €2.5bn and €3bn from the share sale, with the process likely to start this month or next.

This will go some way to repay the €20.8bn stumped up by taxpayers to rescue the bank. Already, some €6.6bn has been recouped by the Exchequer.

There is expected to be massive demand for the shares, as ordinary people have been buying them recently even though the bank is 99.9pc owned by the State and shares rarely trade on the stock market.

This prompted Finance Minister Michael Noonan to previously plead with people not to buy shares until the company floats more of its stock. This time no bonus shares will be offered as part of the flotation.

When both Eircom and Aer Lingus were floated, retail investors were offered bonus shares if they held the stock for a certain length of time. Many held Eircom shares too long, and ended up nursing losses.

Irish Independent

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