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BoI and AIB halt share trading

Trading of shares in Bank of Ireland and Allied Irish Banks were temporarily suspended today, the Irish Stock Exchange announced this morning.

The ISE and Central Bank of Ireland filed the two suspension notices to "support the integrity of market trading" before the details of stress tests are published. The results of the stress tests were being revealed by the Central Bank today.

The ISE said the suspensions were made to avoid rumours and speculation creating a "disorderly market".

Market sources believe BoI may need between €4bn and €5bn to reach capital requirements. It would then struggle to avoid a majority takeover by the State.

Shares in Irish Life & Permanent were suspended yesterday morning following media speculation over the PCAR and PLAR examinations.

The group's shares lost more than 45pc of their value as rumours emerged that it would need the Government to inject up to €3bn to fill a capital hole.

In a brief statement issued yesterday morning, the plc said it had decided to suspend its shares "in light of significant movements in the share price" after "recent media comment".

"The PCAR and PLAR [stress test] exercises are not yet completed and the quantum of capital that may be required by the group, and the source of that capital, is not yet finalised," the plc , who have Gillian Bowler (above) on the borad, stressed.