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AIB close to sale deal

ALLIED Irish Banks (AIB) is close to inking the deal to sell 22.5pc of its share in US-based M and T Bank Corp to Spain's Banco Santander.

AIB is expected to sell an asset for about €1.2bn by the end of this month. The bank, which needs to raise €7.4bn of capital to meet new Irish regulatory demands by the end of 2010, has also put its British unit up for sale.

Earlier this month, AIB agreed to sell to Santander its 70pc stake in Bank Zachodni, Poland's third-largest bank, and a stake in an asset management joint venture for €3.1bn.

The group confirmed that it wanted to sell the assets before approaching the market with a rights issue.