Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has today welcomed the successful conclusion of the acquisition of 10.51bn Bank of Ireland shares by a group of investors led by Fairfax Financial Holdings, and including WL Ross, Capital Research (part of The Capital Group), Fidelity Investments and Kennedy Wilson, from the National Pensions Reserve Fund.

The investors paid 10c per share or a total of €1.051bn.

As a result of this disposal the State’s holding in Bank of Ireland will drop from 36pc to 15.13pc. The investors now own a 34.96pc stake in the bank.

“As I noted on 25 July 2011, the commitment by a number of significant private sector investors to invest side by side with the State’s retained holding without any form of additional risk sharing by the State reaffirms the Government’s banking policy as announced on 31 March 2011,” said the Minister. “It further underlines how we are successfully breaking the link between bank risk and the sovereign.”

Meanwhile, Bank of Ireland’s share price was up today after it said last Friday that it had sold or agreed to sell around €5bn in loans at a 9pc discount.