Allied Irish Banks in first ever annual loss

City A.M. Reporter
ALLIED Irish Banks posted its first ever full-year net loss, after being hit by a property market crash.

The lender, in which the government last year acquired a 25 per cent indirect stake, said it was trying to improve its capital position.

It posted a net loss of €2.3bn (£2.1bn) for the 12 months to December 31, 2009, compared with a profit of €890m a year earlier. But the loss was below analyst expectations of €2.9bn.

Allied Irish also said it had not rule out asking for more state funding.

Alan Kelly, general manager, group finance said: "There isn't a specific outline of exactly how much we are going to raise and how we are going to raise it."

Ireland's second-biggest bank by market value said it would transfer property loans worth up to €23bn (£21bn) to the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA), Ireland's bad bank, slightly below an earlier estimate of €24bn.

To plug the resulting hole in its capital base, Allied Irish said it would look at selling assets, carrying out a rights issue and talk to companies that have expressed interest in taking a strategic stake in it.