These two stories are related only in terms of Ireland offering itself to the world, albeit in vastly different ways. Readers are welcome to share their quips about any similarities of banking and rugby. MH
An initial public offering for 25 percent of state-owned Allied Irish Banks has opened on the Dublin and London stock exchanges. The bank was nationalized in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. The government stepped in with a €21 billion ($23.50 billion) taxpayer bailout. The IPO is expected to raise €3 billion. As Reuters reports:
A successful flotation would mark another milestone in a dramatic turnaround from a banking and fiscal crisis that wrecked the country’s economy a decade ago. … One of Ireland’s two dominant banks, AIB returned to profit three years ago. It has cut its huge stock of impaired loans by more than two-thirds since then, and this year it became the first domestically owned lender to restart dividends since the crash.
Meanwhile, Ireland also submitted its bid to host the Rugby World Cup in 2023. The “Ready for the World” proposal calls for hosting matches at a dozen stadiums on both sides of the border.
France and South Africa are also vying for the tournament. World Rugby will announce the successful candidate in November.
Here’s the slick promotional video, narrated by Northern Ireland-born actor Liam Neeson: