DUBLIN Ireland never decided for certain it would offer a 25 percent stake in state-owned Allied Irish Banks (ALBK.I) next year and will sell when the time is right, Finance Minister Michael Noonan said on Tuesday.
Earlier this year Dublin pushed back the likely timetable for partially cashing out its 21 billion euro ($23 billion) investment in the 99 percent state-owned bank to the first half of 2017 from late 2016, citing unfavourable market conditions.
"We never decided we would have (an initial public offering) in 2017, the only consideration is the amount of money we can recover for the taxpayer and we'll sell when we think we're at the best position to get the maximum amount," Noonan told a news conference.
($1 = 0.8928 euros)
(Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Ruth Pitchford)