Allied Irish IPO Likely to Slip into Next Year, Noonan Says

Ireland’s government will probably hold off selling a stake in Allied Irish Banks Plc until the first half of next year, Finance Minister Michael Noonan said, awaiting renewed investor appetite for financial shares.

“It’s less likely we’ll go in the fourth quarter” of 2016, Noonan told reporters in Dublin on Wednesday. “It’s to do with market conditions. We don’t need to cash out. We wait until we get the best value for the taxpayer.”

Prime Minister Enda Kenny’s government program includes not selling more than 25 percent of any bank before the end of 2018, pressuring lenders to cut mortgage rates and adding protection for debt-laden homeowners. Noonan said it wasn’t clear if these pledges were behind the recent decline in Irish bank stocks, adding the new administration wouldn’t necessarily legislate for lower interest rates.

“I’m assuring the ratings agencies and markets that’s there nothing in the program for government that’s not in the best interests of the banks,” Noonan said.

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