Jun 2, 2017

Week in Review, June 3

Seven years after it was forced to nationalise Allied Irish Banks at a ruinous cost, Ireland is to finally begin selling down its 99.9 per cent stake in the country's second-biggest lender, in what promises to be one of the biggest IPOs on London's main market for two decades, writes Laura Noonan. Mr Noonan's officials, the bank's management, and a bevy of advisers from Deutsche Bank, Davy's and Bank of America Merrill Lynch have already met with close to 20 potential investors to test interest. Buyers are likely to be blue-chip institutions, not the kind of white knight investors led by US commerce secretary Wilbur Ross who made a killing on their investment in Bank of Ireland back in 2011. The multiyear overhaul of Barclays is almost complete, declared its chief executive, Jes Staley, after the bank agreed to offload most of its African operations this week, writes Martin Arnold. In a separate deal, the UK bank ended its 105-year presence in Zimbabwe by agreeing to sell its operations in the cash-starved African country to First Merchant Bank, a Malawi-listed lender.

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