The National Treasury Management Agency made a successful return to regular bond auctions today.

It sold €1 billion of ten-year paper in its first such tender since their suspension three-and-a-half years ago ahead of an EU/IMF bailout.

After ten-year yields fell to a record low of 3.1% yesterday, compared with a 2011 peak above 15%, the NTMA sold today's bond at 2.967%. It had aimed to sell €1 billion.

The auction received 2.9 times more bids than needed for its completion, the debt agency said.

Ireland is already funded into next year and is aiming to raise €8 billion this year to complete pre-funding for 2015, nearly half of which it has already garnered from a ten-year issue in January.

Ireland has been raising debt periodically for over two years, successfully paving the way for the completion of its three-year rescue programme in December.

"The completion of today's auction marks Ireland's full return to the markets for the first time since September 2010 and brings to a successful conclusion the NTMA's programme for a phased return to the markets carried out over the past two years," commented NTMA's chief executive John Corrigan. 

"The €1 billion funding raised today, together with the €3.75 billion raised in the syndicated issue on 7 January, amounts to almost 60% of our funding target of €8 billion for the full year," he added.

"It's an absolutely massive deal," said Eamon Reilly, a bond trader at Davy Stockbrokers. 

"It bodes well for a decent performance for the rest of the year, we would have had a lot of bids in that didn't get accepted. An absolute stellar auction."