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Ireland recoups 161 million euros from AIB share sales

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FILE PHOTO: A general view of an AIB (Allied Irish Bank) logo
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DUBLIN (Reuters) - The Irish government has raised 161 million euro through the sale of shares in Allied Irish Banks (AIB) over the last six months, cutting its stake to 68% from 71%, the finance department said on Friday.

The government extended the sale of its shares in the country's largest mortgage lender after selling a first chunk at an average price of 2.32 euros. AIB shares closed at 2.43 euros on Thursday.

"When I announced the launch of the share trading plan, I said that the state's exit from its investment in AIB would be a multi-year journey," Finance Minister Pashcal Donohoe said in a statement.

"I will continue to keep other monetisation options open, should these opportunities present themselves."

The government has also reduced its stake in Bank of Ireland, the country's largest lender by assets, to below 3% through a similar share trading plan over the last year.

(Reporting by Padraic Halpin; editing by Jason Neely)

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