State’s stake in AIB Bank dips below 71%

Government accelerating clawback of the bank’s crisis-era rescue bill

Taxpayers have so far only recouped about €10.8bn of the bank’s €20.8bn rescue bill.

Taxpayers have so far only recouped about €10.8bn of the bank’s €20.8bn rescue bill.

 

The State’s stake in AIB has dipped below 71 per cent as it began to drip feed stock on to the market in recent weeks under a plan to accelerate the clawback of the bank’s crisis-era rescue bill.

The bank said on Thursday it has been notified that the Government’s stake, held through the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF), had fallen to 70.97 per cent as of earlier this week, from 71.12 per cent previously.

Taxpayers have so far only recouped about €10.8 billion of the bank’s €20.8 billion rescue bill.

Analysts estimate that ISIF’s holding will fall to 68-69 per cent by the middle of this year, when the current share-sale programme is due to expire.

The Government has also been selling Bank of Ireland shares into the market since late last June, resulting in its stake falling to 6.93 per cent, as of Tuesday, from 13.9 per cent at start of the period.

It is expected that the holding will fall to zero by the middle of this year, allowing Bank of Ireland to become the first Irish lender to return to full private ownership since the sector imploded during the financial crisis.