February 19, 2013

DUBLIN, Feb 19 Ireland's sale of Irish Life to Canadian life insurer Great-West Lifeco will help push the government's debt below 120 percent of GDP this year, the country's finance ministry said on Tuesday.

Great-West Lifeco said it would buy Irish Life, formerly the insurance arm of bailed out Irish Life & Permanent, for C$1.75 billion ($1.73 billion) and expected the transaction to close in July.

"A 1.3 billion euro cash injection would, combined with the Bank of Ireland Contingent Capital deal, and all other things being equal, reduce GGD (General Government Debt) to GDP from 121.3 percent at end 2013 to 119.9 percent," the ministry said in a statement.

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