We have taken one more step towards exiting the Troika bailout programme.
For the first time in nearly 2 years Ireland has borrowed money on the markets at an affordable interest rate of below 6%.
The plan always was for Ireland to test the waters with the markets in the second half of this year.
2 weeks ago the National treasury Management Agency (NTMA) successfully borrowed money for 3 months.
But in a surprise move this morning the NTMA announced it was seeking to borrow money for 5 and 8 years today.
And it also offered bondholders due to get their money back in the next 2 years the option of extending those loans.
And this evening the NTMA says it raised €5.23 billion in this auction and €4.19 billion of that was in new money and the average interest rate was below 6%.
3/4 of the demand for the bonds was from abroad with significant interest from Scandinavia and North America.
A step forward but there is a long stairs before the country can borrow all the money it needs.
John Corrigan Chief Executive of the NTMA.
“We are very pleased with the success of today’s transaction, particularly the fact that investors committed more than €4 billion of new money to our first long-term issuance since September 2010″ he said.
“This marks a very significant step for Ireland on the way to full bond market access”.
“As a result of today’s transaction, the NTMA has now covered a significant proportion of the €8.2 billion bond maturing in January 2014 which up until now has been seen as a challenging ‘funding cliff’” he added.