Finance Minister Michael Noonan was speaking at a Bloomberg event in London today
Finance Minister Michael Noonan has said that the country is now in a much better position as we exit the IMF/EU bailout programme.
Speaking at a Bloomberg event in London, the Finance Minister said that the country is “now fit for competition” again.
He said the country will continue to follow the model of export-led growth it is currently pursuing.
Mr Noonan said the country had met the 260 conditions laid down by the Troika, which included many fiscal and labour market measures.
He also said that the country had made the right decision in exiting the bailout without a precautionary credit line.
The Minister said that Ireland wanted to leave the “boom and bust cycle” behind it, and grow on a more sustainable level.
Meanwhile, Mr Noonan said that he does not envisage an early sale of the 15% equity stake it holds in Bank of Ireland.
The Government sold a €1.8 billion preference share in the bank on Wednesday, triggering speculation it would turn its attention to selling its ordinary shares in the bank, which have more than doubled in value this year and now worth €1.2 billion.
“We’ll hold onto it at the minute,” Noonan told reporters in London. “We certainly won’t be having any firesales and I don’t envisage an early sale.”
He also said that the European Central Bank has agreed to use the results of an Irish review of the quality of the assets of its main lenders as part of pan-European stress tests.
The health of the country’s banks the main concern surrounding the country’s exit from an EU/IMF bailout this month and a lingering worry for investors.
“Two months ago I got agreement with Mario Draghi that we would be the first to do the asset quality review … but that we wouldn’t have to do it a second time. This would be taken as part of the European round of asset quality reviews,” Mr Noonan said today.