NTMA sells 10-year bond in strong start to 2016

Friday 08 January 2016 06.57
The NTMA plans to issue €6-10 billion worth of long-term debt this year
The NTMA plans to issue €6-10 billion worth of long-term debt this year

The National Treasury Management Agency has raised €3 billion through a syndicated issue of a ten year bond.

The yield on the bond - effectively the price investors demand to lend the money at - is 1.156%.

A total of €9.6 billion was offered by investors, with the overwhelming amount coming from overseas, according to a NTMA statement.

Last month the Treasury Management Agency, which manages the government debt, said it will seek to raise between €6-10 billion in sovereign debt this year.

With €3 billion already raised by today's syndicated sale, the remaining amount is likely to be raised through a regular series of bond auctions. 

The rapid recovery together with an easing of euro zone monetary policy has helped Ireland's cost of borrowing over ten years plummet from a peak of about 15% in 2011 to today's yield. 

The NTMA said it limited the size of the deal to accommodate bond auctions over the remainder of the year.

"Today's transaction, two years to the day from Ireland’s first bond sale since leaving the EU/IMF programme, confirms that investor demand for Irish bonds remains healthy and broad-based," NTMA Director of Funding Frank O'Connor said in a statement.

With funding for the rest of 2016 already raised before today's deal, the debt sold this year will keep covering the state's borrowing requirements well in advance while locking in record low interest rates. 

With a general election expected to be called for late February, the NTMA will likely step out of debt markets for the rest of the first quarter and tap the new 2026 bond in April, Ryan McGrath, a bond dealer at Cantor Fitzgerald, said.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays, Davy, Morgan Stanley, RBS and Societe Generale acted as joint lead managers for today's issue.