The National Treasury Management agency has raised €6 billion in its largest bond sale for a decade, as it moves to boost its finances to fund what Tánaiste Simon Coveney said would be "significant deficits" caused by the coronavirus pandemic. 

The NTMA raised the funds through the syndicated sale of a new seven-year bond today.

The sale attracted more than €33 billion worth of demand from 250 accounts.

It had a yield of around 0.24%.

Ahead of the sale, a market source said the NTMA had hoped to raise between €3-4 billion. 

"This demand highlights the progress Ireland has made in recent years to improve its sovereign credit rating and its debt sustainability," said NTMA CEO Conor O'Kelly. 

"The accommodative stance of the ECB and in particular its newly-announced PEPP program has helped keep interest rates low and this has been supportive for European sovereigns issuers. 

"While the economic challenges arising from Covid-19 are significant, Ireland is well positioned to meet any additional borrowing requirements".  

Today's sale means the NTMA has raised €11 billion of a target for the year of €10-14 billion - though this was set before the coronavirus pandemic. 

The NTMA has not updated that target despite a surge of Government spending to help deal with the fallout from the coronavirus, that the Central Bank has estimated will cost at least €8 billion.

Last week, the NTMA said it would have one syndicated issue and two bond auctions between April and June, its busiest quarter of issuance in more than two years. 

It said it was well placed to address any borrowing challenges caused by the pandemic, citing strong cash balances, investor appetite and European Central Bank measures. 

The NTMA had mandated BNP Paribas, BofA Securities, Cantor Fitzgerald Ireland, Danske Bank, Goldman Sachs International Bank and JP Morgan as joint lead managers of today's sale.

Simon Coveney said today he expected Ireland's economy to begin to recover from the pandemic later in the summer but warned Ireland would have to borrow a lot of money and run significant deficits for a period.