CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-Wilbur Ross and Fairfax to sell 6 pct of Bank of Ireland

Tue Mar 4, 2014 6:12am EST
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(Corrects bracketed word in penultimate paragraph to "state's", from "bank's")

* Pair invested when shares had fallen to 10 cents

* High of 39 cents reached this year

* Shares down 7 pct after announcement of stake sale

* State holds 14 pct, has said in no rush to sell

By Padraic Halpin

DUBLIN, March 4 (Reuters) - Two of Bank of Ireland's largest shareholders, Wilbur Ross and Fairfax Financial , began selling a combined 6.4 percent stake in the country's largest lender on Tuesday, the placing's bookrunner Deutsche Bank said.

Billionaire investor Ross and Fairfax boss Prem Watsa were among a group of North American investors who kept the bank out of state hands in 2011 when they bought a 35 percent stake only months after Ireland signed up to an EU/IMF bailout.

The group invested in the bank, in which the state holds a 14 percent stake, when the share price stood at about 10 cents. The shares have risen significantly since then, jumping 120 percent last year and hitting a high of 0.39 euros this year.   Continued...