Thursday, 22 February 2018

Ceisteanna (60)

Thomas P. Broughan

Ceist:

60. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Finance his views on the approach to the sale of State assets in the commercial banks; and the purposes for which disposal of State shares will be earmarked. [9138/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

As the Deputy will be aware, the State currently owns c. 71% of the shares in AIB, 14% of the shares in Bank of Ireland, and c. 75% of the shares in Permanent TSB. Following the IPO of AIB last year all three of our bank investments are now listed on the main markets of the Irish and London stock exchanges, providing improved liquidity and marketability for the State's shares.

Officials in my Department continue to monitor the performance of the banks, their share prices and equity markets more generally to determine the next sensible opportunity to realise value from our investments. It is important to point out that exiting our investments in a measured way that will optimise value for our citizens, will take a number of years, but I do not propose to set out a rigid timeline for disposal. To do so would potentially impact the value we can achieve. However as I have said before I believe that over the medium term we will recoup all of the money that we invested in these banks during the financial crisis.

In order to proceed with another sale of bank shares, I would need to be satisfied that the market was prepared to put a fair and reasonable value on the bank's equity, bearing in mind its current performance, future prospects and the outlook for the economy, and I would do so on the advice of officials in my Department. It should be noted that the 'Programme for a Partnership Government' places limits on the sale of shares before the end of 2018.