Finance Minister Pascal Donohue today extended the phased sale of state shares in the Bank of Ireland until May 2022.
The minister said that the extension represents another step in implementing the government’s policy of returning banks to private ownership.
The plan to trade Bank of Ireland shares was due to expire no later than January 7, 2022.
The day’s extension means that the plan will now expire no later than May 20, 2022, unless the minister extends it.
Revenue from the Bank of Ireland share trading scheme since its launch in June has been around €249 million.
The government has now recovered nearly €6.2 billion in cash from its €4.7 billion investment and support for the Bank of Ireland over the years from 2009 to 2011, making it the only Irish bank to have reimbursed Irish taxpayers for its support.
The shares were sold through the stock trading scheme at an average price of €4.96 and the state’s stake in the bank was reduced from 13.9% to 9.3%.
“When I announced the launch of the stock trading scheme in June, I highlighted the benefits of phasing out the state investment in the Bank of Ireland using this approach. Given its success so far, I think it is in the interest of taxpayers to extend the scheme for another period,” Pascal said. Donohue.
In line with the Government’s commitment to provide the taxpayer with the best value, shares will not be sold for less than a pre-determined minimum price that will be subject to review by the Department of Finance.
If the government maintains its current pace of share sales, it could exit the Bank of Ireland entirely next year, a move that would make it the first of Ireland’s bailed out banks to return entirely to private ownership.
The Ministry of Finance said in its statement today that Citigroup will continue to work on behalf of the state in implementing the stock trading plan.
Francesca McDonagh, CEO of Bank of Ireland Group, said today’s announcement continues a very positive process for Irish taxpayers, the Irish economy and the Bank of Ireland.
« The ongoing sale of shares is an important process in the normalization of the relationship between the Irish state and the Bank of Ireland. We look forward to being the first Irish bank to return to full private ownership in 2022, » McDonagh added.
Bank of Ireland shares were higher in Dublin trade Today.
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