Allied Irish Banks PLC, which is partly owned by the Irish government, confirmed Friday that a third party had expressed interest in taking a stake in the bank.

"AIB notes the recent press comment regarding interest from a third party taking a minority stake in the group and confirms that it has received such interest," the bank said, without revealing the identity of the party. "However, any discussions with regard to this matter are preliminary and are not expected to progress in the near term."

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