The public are to be given the opportunity to buy shares in Telecom Éireann when the state owned company is floated on the stock exchange.

Applications to buy shares in Telecom Éireann will be made available from tomorrow, in the largest share offering in the history of the state.

Individuals will be able to apply for a minimum of £250 worth of shares or any amount up to a maximum of £100,000 worth.

Depending on the level of interest shown in purchasing shares, Minister for Public Enterprise Mary O'Rourke will decide on the precise share price in the coming weeks. Applications for shares must be submitted by 30 June. 

The lower the floatation price chosen by the Minister, the better chance of the shares increasing in value in the short term. But a low floatation price means less money for the exchequer.

Minister Mary O'Rourke says it is a matter of balance to find a price to benefit both the exchequer and the investor. As such, it is not yet possible to say whether Telecom shares will increase in value once the company has been floated.

An RTÉ News reports on 13 June 1999. The reporter is Richard Curran.