The Government plans to appoint bankers and brokers in coming weeks to advise it on the possible sale of banking assets nationalised during the banking crisis, the Department of Finance said today. 

But the Department said in a statement that the appointments "should not be seen as a signal that a transaction or a series of transactions are imminent." 

Finance Minister Michael Noonan said earlier this month he was considering the sale of part of AIB, which was effectively nationalised in 2010 in the wake of the country's property crash.

The Government owns over 99% of AIB. 

The Irish Independent earlier today cited an analyst as saying the Government may sell between 25-30% of the bank early next year.

"The Department of Finance has been engaged in a process to appoint panels of financial advisers to assist in the receipt of timely advice relating to the future disposal of the state's banking sector investments," the Department of Finance said in an emailed statement to Reuters. 

"We expect these panels to be finalised in the coming weeks," it added.