Department of Finance officials flagged concerns that the latest sale of AIB shares which would leave the state shareholding below 50% would reignite debate over restrictions on pay for senior bankers there.
Civil servants told Finance Minister Michael McGrath that the state having a minority share in the bank would mean little “in practical terms”, but would be seen as a significant milestone.
A submission on the latest stage of Project Viking, the selling down of the state’s stake in AIB, said: “Such an outcome will garner media attention as there is now a strong perceived link with possible further changes in remuneration restrictions.
“This is something the Minister may wish to consider … however, we would not wish such considerations to delay any share sale if conditions are right.”
The state ended up selling a significant chunk of their AIB shares in late June yielding €480.5 million and reducing their shareholding in the bank from 51.9% to 46.9%.
Officials said the €3.64 per share price was the “highest we believed we could push investors without losing significant orders” according to a post-sale briefing for the finance minister.