Global investment manager BlackRock has grown its stake in Bank of Ireland further at the same time as the State continues to reduce its.

Stock exchange filings show the Minister for Finance's holding in the lender has fallen to 5.94% from its previous position of 6.93%.

But at the same time, BlackRock has in recent days increased its shareholding from 6.95% to 7.03%.

Last month the State ceased to be the largest single shareholder in the bank, giving way to BlackRock.

Last June, Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe said the Government would begin selling part of the State's then 13.9% shareholding in the bank over the following six months.

That process was due to conclude in January, but in November the minister announced that the deadline would be extended to May 2022.

In total, the State put €4.7 billion into Bank of Ireland during the financial crisis, with the initial investment coming in early 2009.

Since then, Bank of Ireland has returned more than €6 billion to the State, making it the only Irish bank to have repaid the Irish taxpayer for its support.

In December, Mr Donohoe announced similar plans to begin selling down some of the State's 71.12% stake in AIB over the next six months.