21st Sep 2021

Dublin nationalises Anglo Irish Bank

  • The Irish minister of finance says Anglo Irish will continue to be a 'going concern' (Photo: EUobserver)

The Irish government announced Thursday (15 January) night its intention to nationalise Anglo Irish Bank in the face of large deposit withdrawals in recent days.

It also said in a statement that it was ditching proposals to invest €1.5 billion of taxpayers' money in the bank - the country's third largest lender.

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This latest move ends weeks of government attempts to find a private buyer and was triggered by fears that the bank would shortly declare itself insolvent, leaving the government with massive bills as its deposit guarantee scheme announced last month kicked in.

Minister for finance Brian Lenihan said the bank would "continue to trade normally as a going concern."

Analysts believe however that the bank, highly exposed to Ireland's property crash, would be wound down over time, the Financial Times reports.

Trading was suspended Friday after the bank's shares closed down 10.8 per cent at 20 cents compared to a high of more than €17 in May 2007.

The bank has also recently been embroiled in a lending scandal involving its chairman Sean Fitzpatrick, who had concealed €87 million worth of private loans made to him by the bank over the last eight years.

Mr Fitzpatrick stepped down just before Christmas.

Anglo Irish is the latest European bank to be nationalised as a result the recent financial turmoil.

The British government nationalised Northern Rock and Bradford & Bingley last year and also has a 75 percent stake in Royal Bank of Scotland.

On the continent, Fortis became a headline causality of the current turmoil and received a partial nationalisation.

Deutsche Bank stability shaken by sauerkraut

Meanwhile, shares in Deutsche Bank tumbled on Thursday (15 January) after investors learned that the bank's chief executive, Josef Ackermann, had made a brief visit to hospital Wednesday having rapidly devoured a meal of sausage and sauerkraut.

Mr Ackermann said he became ill after a bank reception in Berlin, having spent the day explaining the bank's extremely poor fourth quarter figures and first postwar loss to analysts and journalists.

"At the end of the reception I quickly ate two sausages and sauerkraut, then I felt unwell," he told German newspaper Bild. "I had the whole day crammed full of meetings. I unfortunately did not eat anything and hardly drank anything."

"I will look after myself better in the future," he continued.

The bank's shares rallied again Thursday afternoon.

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An investigation into Luxembourg's tax regime has uncovered how the Italian mafia, the Russian underworld, and billionaires attempt to stash away their wealth. The European Commission has put itself on standby amid suggestions changes to EU law may be needed.

Vietnam jails journalist critical of EU trade deal

A journalist who had demanded the EU postpone its trade deal with Vietnam until human rights improved has been sentenced to 15 years in jail. The EU Commission says it first needs to conduct a detailed analysis before responding.

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