DUBLIN (Reuters) - Bank of Ireland
Ireland's largest bank is scrambling to avoid majority state control as it seeks to raise some 5.2 billion euros in capital by the end of July to bulletproof it from further potential loan losses following a devastating property crash.
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Analysts doubt that the bank, in which the state already holds a 36 percent stake, can avoid raising the funds without taxpayer aid. meaning that the entire Irish banking sector will be under state control.
The Irish government has controversially offered junior bondholders in Allied Irish Banks
"Bank of Ireland paper is trading at around 55 cents in the euro so that appears to be the price the market is eyeing. The view seems to be that they won't be treated as aggressively as AIB."
AIB's action against its junior bondholders is being challenged by investors in the state-owned bank. A court hearing is scheduled to take place on June 2.
In addition to the debt for equity swap there has been speculation that Bank of Ireland is also planning a rights issue and a private placement.