Ireland May Sell 25% of AIB in Third Quarter, Noonan Says

Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan said he’s leaning toward disposing of 25 percent Allied Irish Banks Plc in the third quarter of next year, as the state seeks to recoup the aid used to save the lender.

Speaking to reporters in Dublin on Thursday, Noonan said the government will, if re-elected in the upcoming general election, seek to press the button “immediately” on preparations for the share sale. He said the sale, which will be completed by the end of 2016, will be one of the largest in the history of the London stock exchange’s history.

If the government approved a sale in March, it could take place in May/June or September/October, Noonan said, adding he was “tending towards an autumn window.”

Noonan said he was “absolutely confident” that the government will recoup all of AIB’s 21 billion euro bailout, though the state may keep a stake in the lender for more than a decade.

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