Ciarán Hancock: Michael Noonan walking fine line as bank sell-off looms

Minister’s priority is to achieve best price for the State, but there will be no hard sell

 Allied Irish Bank: 99.9 per cent owned by the taxpayer.  Photograph: Paul McErlane/Reuters

Allied Irish Bank: 99.9 per cent owned by the taxpayer. Photograph: Paul McErlane/Reuters

Michael Noonan’s decision to offer shares in AIB to small retail investors as well as institutions is an interesting one on a number of levels.

The Minister for Finance and his officials and advisers have been considering such a move for the past 18 months and feel that it is the right thing to do. But there will be none of the hard sell of the Eircom flotation in the late 1990s, which left most retail investors with their fingers badly burned.

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