Friday, April 1, 2011

Irish suspend trade in 2 banks before stress tests

Ireland has suspended trading in the shares of Bank of Ireland and Allied Irish Banks in advance of Thursday's publication of stress tests expected to show their need for billions more in aid.

In a joint statement the Irish Stock Exchange and the Central Bank of Ireland say the 24-hour withdrawal of trading in both banks is necessary to prevent what it calls "a disorderly market" driven by potentially inaccurate rumors.

The move follows Wednesday's suspension of trade in Ireland's other publicly traded bank, Irish Life & Permanent. The shares of all three banks are expected to resume trade Friday on Irish and British exchanges.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

DUBLIN (AP) -- Ireland is publishing stress tests on its four surviving banks Thursday -- and analysts expect the results to force all of them to come under majority state control and perhaps even shove the country into an eventual default.

Regulators are revealing numbers on two banks that are already majority state-owned -- Allied Irish Banks and the Educational Building Society -- and two others expected to join that club soon: the Bank of Ireland and Irish Life & Permanent.


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