DUBLIN, July 30 A stronger-than-expected return
to profit by state-owned Allied Irish Banks (AIB) is
very good news for the recovery of the 20 billion euros ($26.80
billion) used to bail it out, Ireland's finance minister said on
"A profitable bank is a more valuable bank, which will, over
time allow the state to maximise the return on its investment,"
Michael Noonan said in a statement after AIB reported a
first-half profit of 437 million euros.
"The Government will continue to examine all opportunities
to ensure a favourable outcome for the taxpayer. But we will be
prudent to ensure the taxpayer yields the full benefit of this
return to profitability."
($1 = 0.7463 Euros)
(Reporting by Padraic Halpin; editing by Jason Neely)