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Bank of Ireland shareholders to vote on removing €1.9bn from public bill

If a deal offering shares to bondholders is turned down, the bank will need a taxpayer top-up and fall under State control.

Image: Peter Morrison/AP

SHAREHOLDERS IN IRELAND’S last remaining bank outside majority State ownership will today vote on a deal aimed at minimising the taxpayer’s burden on bailing it out.

Bank of Ireland shareholders will attend an extraordinary general meeting at O’Reilly Hall in UCD, voting on a rights issue that would see them take additional shareholdings in the lender.

The sale of the shares will raise €1.9bn for the bank, which needs to find an extra €5.2bn under the last round of stress tests.

RTÉ explains that if the shareholders turn down the deal – which will see existing shareholders foot the bill for the issue of new shares – the money will have to come from the public purse.

A further taxpayer injection into the bank would see the existing shares diluted, while the public’s stake in the lender would reach 69.7 per cent – effectively meaning that the entire Irish banking sector had been nationalised.

Another €2bn is being raised through a debt-for-shares swap with junior bondholders.

More: Bank of Ireland workers set to pocket €7million in bonuses >

Elsewhere: College Green earmarked for redevelopment to become ‘great square’ >

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