Ireland's national debt is falling "rapidly" according to the Minister for Finance Michael Noonan. 

He said the State's borrowings will break through a significant point next year, when it falls below 100% of Gross Domestic Product. 

Mr Noonan was speaking at the launch of the National Treasury Management Agency annual report. 

He said by the end of this year Ireland's debt would reach 105% of GDP. 

Mr Noonan said there was only one window to float AIB on the stock market this year. He said the "likelihood" was that the State would sell its shareholding in the bank in Spring or Summer of next year. 

But he stressed the sale would not be affected by the political cycle of the general election. 

He said that, later today, the Government would seek expressions of interest for a new Governor of the Central Bank to replace Patrick Honohan. 

Mr Honohan is expected to stand down in November, he said.  

The NTMA, which manages Ireland debt, said it has replaced €18bn of International Monetary Fund borrowings with debts with lower interest rates, saving €1.5bn.  

Conor O'Kelly, CEO of the NTMA, said that the recent market volatility caused by the Greek crisis had not negatively affected Ireland.