The National Treasury Management Agency has cancelled a regular bond auction planned for Thursday in order to instead sell debt through a syndicate of banks, a method that typically raises a far larger amount of funds. 

Further details on the syndication, which would be Ireland's third so far this year, will be provided soon, the NTMA said in a statement today. 

In order to fund additional government spending to cope with the coronavirus crisis, the NTMA in April revised its funding target for 2020 to €20-24 billion from the €10-14 billion envisaged at the start of the year. 

The agency has raised €12.5 billion so far this year, €10 billion of which was via syndication.

The NTMA's Director of Funding and Debt Management, Frank O'Connor, said that while the agency had scheduled a bond auction for this week, it has decided to proceed with a larger syndicated transaction instead.

"This decision is based on current market conditions and investor feedback, which suggested that demand is likely to be greater than can be typically accommodated by an auction," Mr O'Connor added.

The NTMA has mandated Barclays, BNP Paribas, Danske Bank, Davy, NatWest Markets and Nomura to launch the new 10-year bond sale "in the near future", a statement provided by one of the joint lead managers said.

The NTMA regularly uses such language when kicking off a syndicated sale the next day.

It is expected the NTMA could raise upwards of €4 billion, depending on demand.