Government sells off family silver with AIB sale – but who is accountable if share price too cheap?

June 23, 2017

The government’s sale of AIB shares today is a case of selling off the family silver with no accountability to the people who bailed out the bank in the first place, Social Democrats co-leader Catherine Murphy TD said today.

Deputy Murphy made her remarks as AIB shares price rose by 7 per cent in early trading within hours of going on sale.

Deputy Murphy said:

“These shares went on sale at €4.20 which is the midpoint in the range. Within hours they were selling at much higher price, trading at €250m more than the government sold them for. If it turns out that we have sold these shares too cheaply, who is accountable for any lost income?

“The government has paid €41 million in fees to more than a dozen companies who have advised it on this flotation, who stand to gain either way. But in the meantime, the Irish people who pumped €21 billion into bailing out the bank will see little benefit from this sale as the proceeds will go to paying down debt by 1 per cent.

“In its head-long rush to sell off the family silver, the government never properly examined the case for holding onto these shares and investing the dividends in infrastructure. Instead, the decision was made to by-pass the Dáil and proceed with a sale that will make only a miniscule impact on our national debt.

“This sale comes in a week when the Minister for Housing admitted that the deadline to move homeless families out of hotels by July 1st will not be met. Many people will rightly feel that this is a government that has got its priorities all wrong.”

ENDS

23 June 2017