AIB have (finally!) sold their 70% stake in Polish bank Bank Zachodni for €3.1 billion (press release here). The bank reports that the disposal
will generate c. €2.5bn of equivalent equity tier 1 capital towards meeting AIB’s Prudential Capital Assessment Review requirement set by the Irish Financial Regulator.
As I understand it, there are two elements to this €2.5 billion figure.
Page 225 of the bank’s 2009 annual report states
The market value at 31 December 2009 of the shareholding in BZWBK S.A. of €1.5 billion (2008: €1.3 billion) exceeds the carrying amount including goodwill of the investment by €0.09 billion
In other words, the stake in Bank Zachodni was valued at €1.4 billion on AIB’s balance sheet. So AIB has sold this asset for €1.7 billion more than this carrying value, triggering a corresponding increase in the bank’s equity.
In addition, because the Polish bank’s balance sheet was integrated into AIB’s consolidated balance sheet, the disposal allows AIB to deduct €10 billion from its risk-weighted assets (see page 35 of the 2009 annual report). With a target Tier 1 equity ratio of 8%, this implies a reduction of €800 million in the amount of equity the bank is required to have to meet its target (this is the part of the general Honey I Shrunk the Bank survival strategy). Added to the €1.7 billion gain on the sale, you arrive at the €2.5 billion figure.
This is a positive outcome but it’s not too far ahead of expectations as I understood them. For instance, a nice analysis from Barclay’s Capital a few months ago assumed the sale would generate a profit of €1.3 billion, which would put this €400 million ahead of that. The Barcap analysis foresaw the bank converting €3.3 billion of its €3.5 billion in preference shares into common equity, with the state then having €3.3 billion of €5.5 billion in common equity for a 60 percent ownership stake.
Keeping everything else unchanged, the additional €400 million from today’s sale would see the state converting €2.9 billion to common equity, which would still see it having a 53 percent stake (2.9 / 5.5 = 0.53).
Of course, the baseline 60 percent stake of that analysis may have been a bit low (others have been more pessimistic) and there’s lots of other moving parts to this analysis. However, today was a step in the right direction for AIB in its quest for the ultimate prize: 49.999% state ownership.