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Key investors cut stake in BoI

BANK of Ireland's biggest private shareholders are slashing their stake in the bank by around one third.

US billionaire Wilbur Ross and Prem Watsa (right), his investment partner in the bank, have hired Deutsche Bank to 'place', or sell a 6.4pc stake in BoI.

Funds linked to the men control about 18pc of the bank's shares and are the second and third largest shareholders after the Irish government.

They were part of a group whose €1.1bn investment in the bank back in 2011 kept it from being nationalised. The investors bought their BoI shares at 10 cents each in 2011. Yesterday, the shares were trading at 34c, despite weakening in recent days.