Page last updated at 09:17 GMT, Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Irish could increase bank stakes

The Bank of Ireland
Ireland's banks have made huge losses during the recession

The Irish government could end up with 50% stakes in the country's two biggest banks the governor of the country's central bank has said.

It already has 25% stakes in AIB and Bank of Ireland.

However, the banks may need a further injection of capital as part of a scheme to repair their balance sheets.

Governor Patrick Honohan said 50% government ownership is "quite possible for one or both" of the country's two main lenders.

The Dublin government has already nationalised Anglo Irish Bank, a specialist property lender which was battered by the country's property crash,

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