Cartier’s €3bn sale to Fidelity could hit Irish economy, says minister

Finance Minister Michael Noonan has said a deal to buy a major banking and insurance company from Fidelity International could hit the Irish economy.

“There’s a lot of discussion going on around Fidelity and what that means for the Irish banking sector, for the economy,” he said on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland.

“This is going to be a big one for the country.”

Mr Noonan said a number of other major banks were also interested in the acquisition of Cartier.

“We have a range of potential buyers that we have identified, but this is a major one for us and it will have a significant impact on the banking sector,” he added.

The minister said he did not believe the sale would affect the Irish Banking Group’s banking arm, which was set up to support the country’s financial sector.

“It would be very surprising if this deal went ahead because it’s such a big deal for the banking industry, the financial sector in Ireland,” he explained.

Mr Noonen said the deal would be subject to regulatory approval, and that the final deal would have to be approved by the European Commission.

Fidelity, which is based in Switzerland, is best known for its products and services in the financial markets.

It also manages a global trading operation.

Mr Finnegan said he would be in touch with the European commission to “take this through”.

“I’ll certainly be talking to the commissioner of the European Union, which will be responsible for this, about how we can get the best outcome from this,” he told RTÉ.