"Non core" Irish bank assets may be on the block: report

DUBLIN (BestGrowthStock) – Initial aid talks between Ireland and a joint European/IMF mission centered on ways to reduce the size of Irish banks considered too big and reliant on ECB funding, The Irish Times said on Friday without citing sources.

European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund officials arrived in Dublin on Thursday and Ireland’s central bank chief said he expected Dublin to receive tens of billions of euros in loans.

Finance Minister Brian Lenihan also said on Thursday that Ireland will clearly need some form of external assistance to address the problems in its banking sector.

The Irish Times said one option being discussed was the possibility of selling off “non-core” assets such as Allied Irish Banks’ UK loan book and Bancassurer Irish Life and Permanent’s UK mortgage book.

To attract buyers, guarantees covering potential losses on the loans could be given, or agreement could be reached to share losses, the newspaper said.

Allied Irish Banks, which is expected to soon come under 90 percent ownership by the state, will give a trading update later on Friday.

(Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Nick Macfie)

"Non core" Irish bank assets may be on the block: report