AIB’s IPO kicked back to first half of 2017 – Noo­nan

Irish Independent - Business Week - - FRONT PAGE - Colm Kelpie

THE part pri­vati­sa­tion of AIB is likely to be pushed out into next year, Fi­nance Min­is­ter Michael Noo­nan has said.

The orig­i­nal plan of float­ing a por­tion of the sta­te­owned bank this year had been in doubt fol­low­ing global mar­ket tur­moil ear­lier in the year.

“The mar­ket late last year and early this year for bank shares in par­tic­u­lar hasn’t been good,” he said. “It’s less likely that we’ll go in the last quar­ter of this year now, and more likely that we’ll go in the first half of next year, if the mar­ket cor­rects.”

But the min­is­ter stressed the Gov­ern­ment re­mains com­mit­ted to the sale, but of no more than 25pc of the bank in the first tranche. “It is gov­ern­ment pol­icy to put the banks back to pri­vate own­er­ship, but over a pe­riod of time, when we can get max­i­mum value for the tax­payer,” the min­is­ter said.

“We don’t need to cash out. There was a time we did, to re­duce debt lev­els, but we’ve all th­ese things un­der con­trol now, so there’s no con­straint on us. So we’ll wait un­til we can get best value for the tax­payer and re­cover the max­i­mum amount that we can.

Mean­while, rat­ings agency Fitch has said the for­ma­tion of a Gov­ern­ment has not brought an end to po­lit­i­cal un­cer­tainty. Although un­cer­tainty has been re­duced, it isn’t clear how much the mi­nor­ity gov­ern­ment will be able to do.

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