Economy

AIB listing priced at 4.40 euro per share, raises 3 billion euros

AIB listing priced at 4.40 euro per share, raises 3 billion euros”

It starts the repayment process of the near €21bn the State invested in propping up a stricken AIB almost seven years ago - although the Government views €6.6bn having already been repaid through dividend and government guarantee payments, the redemption of preference shares, and bank levy payments. The shares were floated at €4.40 after the price range had narrowed from between €3.90 and €4.60 over the past two weeks.

The part-listing "represents a significant milestone in the government's long-held policy to dispose of our banking investments, returning them to the private sector over time", Ireland's Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe said today.

The IPO drew about €13.5 billion of orders from investment firms and individuals seeking to invest in Europe's largest such deal so far this year, 4½ times the amount of stock that was put on the market, according to sources.

AIB's shares will now be listed on the Irish Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange. Conditional trading of the shares is expected to begin June 23.

Ireland raised 3 billion euros ($3.4 billion) by selling a quarter of Allied Irish Banks (ALBK.I) (AIB) on Friday in a remarkable turnaround for a company at the forefront of reckless lending during the "Celtic Tiger" boom.

Noonan said last month that it would probably take 8-10 years to fully return AIB to private ownership.

The return for the state from the IPO, together with the amount AIB has repaid in capital, fees, dividends and coupons since its bailout, now comes to nearly 10 billion euros.

The lender also reported an annual pre-tax profit of €1.7bn earlier this year, and delivered a dividend for the first time in nine years.

The offer was very well received and attracted high demand from investors everywhere it was marketed, reflecting the strength of AIB's investment story and prospects, and the attractions of Ireland's vibrant and growing economy.

The government has meanwhile stated its intention to use the proceeds of the sale to pay down a small portion of its €200-billion national debt, which ranks among the highest in the eurozone.



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