Bank of Ireland is in exclusive talks with one of its new investors, US real estate firm Kennedy Wilson, to sell around £1.5 billion (Dh8.76 billion) of British loan assets, a source familiar with the process said yesterday. Under the terms of Ireland\'s EU/IMF bailout, the country\'s banks must get rid of some ¤73 billion (Dh369.94 billion) of assets by 2013 and Bank of Ireland\'s deleveraging target accounts for almost half of that. The bank has agreed to sell a ¤1.4-billion US commercial real estate loan book to Wells Fargo & Co, a source close to the deal told Reuters last month. Good progress A spokeswoman for Bank of Ireland said the lender would not comment on the British loan book talks but that it was making good progress on loan books that were up for sale and would update the market when it had something to say. The discussions with California-based Kennedy Wilson do not include any assets in Northern Ireland, the source told Reuters yesterday. Together with Canadian investment company Fairfax Financial Holdings, New York buyout firm WL Ross & Co and rival investment firms Fidelity Investments and The Capital Group, Kennedy Wilson bought a 34.9 per cent stake in the bank for ¤1.1 billion in July.