Michael Noonan confirms Government is to sell its share in AIB 3 years ago

Michael Noonan confirms Government is to sell its share in AIB

It's Europe's biggest listing so far this year.

On Tuesday night, Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, launched the €3 billion initial public offering of Allied Irish Bank. The launch means that the lender returns to the stock exchange, almost seven years after it was nationalised.

The move, which had been anticipated, enables the government to sell 25% of its stake in the bank and begins the process of returning AIB back to private ownership.

In a statement, Mr Noonan said: “The Government’s long-held policy is that the State should exit its banking investments in a measured and prudent manner, returning ownership to the private sector over time.

"Strong progress made by AIB and current market conditions mean that now is the right time to commence this process and proceed with an initial sale of approximately 25% of the State’s shareholding in AIB, as provided for in the Programme for a Partnership Government.

"Today’s decision is a significant step in the continued normalisation of the State’s involvement in Ireland’s banking system and reaffirms the Government’s commitment to recovering its investment in AIB for the benefit of the Irish people.”

Noonan has said before that it could be nearly a decade before the State sells their final shares in AIB in the hope of fully recouping its bailout bill.