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DUBLIN, May 31 (Reuters) - It will probably take 8-10 years to fully return state-owned Allied Irish Banks to private ownership by which time the government expects to have made a profit on its investment, Finance Minister Michael Noonan said on Wednesday.
"I think in terms of the full sell-down of AIB, it will probably need 8-10 years to do it in a manner to maximise the return to the Irish taxpayer. I would foresee that the taxpayer would be in profit by the time it's fully in private hands," Noonan told national broadcaster RTE.
Asked how much he intended to raise from the initial 25 percent share sale announced on Tuesday, Noonan said he would not be nominating an amount that could "give investors traction to push the value down".
Analysts estimate that the sale could raise around 3 billion euros.
Reporting by Padraic Halpin; editing by Jason Neely