AIB said it is hopeful it can attract outside investment in 2014. 

It also expects to have hit 90% of its deleveraging target by the end of this year, chief executive David Duffy told the Irish Times today. 

AIB is in the process of shrinking its balance sheet and cutting costs - including jobs - in a bid to return to profitability by 2014.

The bank is already talking to a broad spectrum of investors and expects to be able to offer them a high single-digit percentage return, Mr Duffy said.

"I am optimistic that if we deliver our controllable universe in terms of our performance and Europe is not too negative, there will be investors who are attracted to an investment in AIB" during 2014, Mr Duffy told the paper.

The bank by March had shed €14 billion of loans and assets under a €20.5 billion deleveraging target, part of Ireland's EU/IMF bailout deal, and expects to have achieved 90% of that figure by the end of the year, the AIB CEO said said.

AIB would support any "workable" proposals by the Government to address the high number of loss-making tracker mortgages on the books of Irish banks so long as it does not add risks to the state and can be funded efficiently, he added.

The Government is exploring ways to shift mortgages that track the ECB interest rate from AIB and Permanent TSB. But Bank of Ireland, which is not fully in state hands, has said it is not involved in the talks.

"We want to make sure it is a solution that works for the whole system. Otherwise, it's one bank versus another, which is not a place that anyone wants to arrive at," Mr Duffy said.

The AIB boss said he had concerns about the Government's decision to allow for mortgage debt of up to €3m to be restructured under new personal insolvency legislation published earlier this month.

The rules require the approval of 65% of the lenders to agree to the restructuring.The new rules could "start bringing in all classes of debt in an uncontrolled way," Mr Duffy said.

Meanwhile, reports said yesterday that AIB has sold a €300m equivalent portfolio of loans to Bank of America Merrill Lynch. AIB had put the portfolio of leveraged and corporate loans up for sale a couple of weeks ago via traders in Europe's secondary loan market and sold them this month, the banking sources said.