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Minister announces the State’s exit from its Bank of Ireland directed shareholding

The Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe TD, today announces the completion of the Bank of Ireland share trading plan and confirms that the State’s directed shareholding has now reduced to zero. This is an important milestone in delivering on the Government’s policy of returning the banking sector to private ownership.

Proceeds generated from the trading plan, which was managed by Citigroup Global Capital Markets amount to approximately €841 million. The Government has now recovered almost €6.7 billion in cash from its €4.7 billion investment in and support for Bank of Ireland over the 2009-2011 period. Shares were sold through phase three of the trading plan at an average price of €6.17 per share, up from an average of €5.64 in phase two and €4.96 in phase one.

In announcing the completion of the share trading plan and the State’s exit from its Bank of Ireland directed shareholding, the Minister commented:

“When I announced the launch of the share trading plan in June 2021, I commented that banking is an activity that involves taking credit risk and therefore should be provided by the private sector. It follows that taxpayer funds which were used to rescue the Irish banks, should be recovered and used for more productive purposes. The gradual disposal of the State’s investment in Bank of Ireland into a rising market has been successful in delivering on this objective for our citizens.

We have also made great progress in relation to our investments in PTSB and AIB, which collectively are still worth over €4.9 billion notwithstanding various disposals this year. Our stake in PTSB is expected to reduce from 75% to approximately 62.4% later this year when the bank issues new shares in part exchange for the Ulster business it has agreed to purchase from NatWest Group Plc. Meanwhile at AIB, which is by far the State’s largest remaining investment, our stake has reduced from 71.2% to 63.5%.”

The Department of Finance was advised by N.M. Rothschild & Sons Limited and William Fry LLP in relation to the share trading plan.