Allied Irish Bank receives an approach to sell minor stake

ALLIED Irish Bank is believed to have received an approach from Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce which wants to take a minority stake in the lender.<br /><br />The Irish institution had earlier said it received an approach from a third party. Earlier this month Allied Irish said it was over the worst of the financial crisis despite reporting a surge in bad debts that pushed the company deep into the red.<br /><br />The bank posted first-half losses of &euro;872m against a profit of &euro;1.3bn a year earlier after being hammered by the collapse of the Irish property market. It wrote off &euro;2.37bn of loans in the first six months of 2009, compared with &euro;137m a year earlier. However, Allied Irish said it was sticking with its estimate of a &euro;4.3bn in bad debt charges for the full year.<br /><br />Ireland&rsquo;s government has set up a so-called &ldquo;bad bank&rdquo; to purge the financial sector of risky property assets. Allied Irish is expected to shift between &euro;16bn and &euro;25bn of loans into the proposed National Asset Management Agency.<br /><br />Allied Irish has also said there are no plans to offload its main overseas operations in the US and Poland. The bank has already raised &euro;1.1bn of additional capital using a bond swap and the group could raise up to &euro;400m more without asset disposals.