The National Treasury Management Agency is to begin its return to the financial markets on Tursday, with an auction of three month treasury bills.

The NTMA aims to raise €500m in the exercise, its first sale to markets since September 2010.

The NTMA told its primary dealers - mostly big international banks - that it will auction €500m of three month treasury bills on Thursday morning.

NTMA chief executive John Corrigan said it was "an important first step in our phased re-entry into capital markets".

He said the move follows an ''intensive engagement with investors both domestically and overseas during the past 18 months''.

The yield on the benchmark Irish 10 year bond this evening was largely unchanged at 6.186%

Thursday's move is not a return to the bond market as treasury bills are a distinct market segment. But it is a return to borrowing money from the private sector, rather than from international bailout funds.

Other countries in bailout programmes such as Greece and Portugal have issued treasury bills throughout the crisis.

A full return to markets would mean borrowing larger amounts over longer periods by issuing new Government bonds. This is unlikely to happen before next year.

''We would expect the auction to be well-received and if the result is strong, it could lead to the NTMA testing the term market for issuance in the near future,' Glas Securities said in a statement today.

Meanwhile, our bailout programme is back under the sportlight again, with Troika staff from the IMF, the ECB and the European Commission returning to Dublin for the seventh review of the programme implementation.

The Government said it expects to meet all benchmarks in the programme.