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Finance Minister starts process of selling State’s shareholding in Bank of Ireland

DUBLIN: The government started the process of fully privatising the Bank of Ireland. The Finance Minister has begun the process of selling the state’s stake in Bank of Ireland. This is the first selling of some of the government’s holdings in the country’s banks since 2017.

Finance Minister Pascal announced in June that the Government intends to begin the process of selling the State shareholding in BOI by the end of the year, subject to market conditions. The minister also said that Citigroup Global Markets was appointed to manage the process following a mini-tender competition.

The government’s stake in the bank has fallen slightly from 13.95% to 13%, according to a filing at the London Stock Exchange.

Francesca McDonagh, chief executive of the Bank of Ireland, welcomed the move to sell the State’s shareholding in the bank. She said it was a “milestone moment” for the bank. The return of the bank to private ownership will give bankers hope.

Ms McDonagh said that Bank of Ireland was at a competitive disadvantage in comparison to other banks in Ireland and Europe, as well as corporates in Ireland.

Since the financial crash, Irish banks have effectively banned the payment of bonuses. Bank of Ireland reported an underlying pre-tax profit of €465 million for the first half of the year. 

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