The State has raised €12m following the sale of 44 million Bank of Ireland shares.

The National Pension Reserve Fund continues to retain a share holding of 13.95% in the bank, which is worth €1.26 billion.

In an announcement to the Irish Stock Exchange, the NPRF said it had reduced its shareholding from 14.05% to 13.95% by selling 44 million shares. 

Bank of Ireland shares closed 8.9% higher in Dublin following news of the sale.

It is understood the shares had originally been held in a pension fund belonging to Irish universities, which transferred to the National Pension Reserve Fund. 

The shares were not part of the main Bank of Ireland shareholding which the State acquired as part of the recapitalisation process.