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Bank of Ireland to repay 1.9 billion euros it borrowed from government

DUBLIN -- Bank of Ireland (BoI) raised 580 million euros (US$788 million) through a share sale as part of a milestone deal to repay 1.9 billion euros to the state, handing the government a timely financial boost.

The redemption of preference shares issued when the part state-owned lender was rescued in 2009 cuts its reliance on the government less than two weeks before Ireland is set to become the first eurozone country to exit an EU/IMF bailout.

BoI, the only Irish lender to escape nationalization, had faced a March 2014 deadline to pay back the state before a clause under its 4.8-billion-euro bailout increased the cost of buying the shares back by 25 percent, or 450 million euros.

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