Belfast Telegraph

Republic could sell even more AIB shares

By Gretchen Friemann

The Irish Government may sell more than just a quarter stake in First Trust parent Allied Irish Banks if investor demand for the initial public offering proves stronger than anticipated, it has emerged.

Under an option known as a greenshoe, bankers on the AIB share sale can expand the deal size, potentially raising more than €3bn (£2.6bn) for the Irish State.

Ireland's Finance Minister Michael Noonan has agreed to a 15% over-allotment option, meaning the Government sale could amount to 28.75% if investors flock to the trade.

News of the Government's ability to increase the size of the offer came as analysts valued the nationalised lender at between €12bn (£10bn) and €13bn (£11.3bn) - above its book value of €11.3bn but below the €20.8bn (£18bn) injected by the taxpayer.

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