THE NATIONAL TREASURY MANAGEMENT AGENCY has successfully raised €1.5bn in its latest bond auction – but has been forced into offering higher interest rates than it was two months ago.
Although the successful auction has resulted in nearly 90% of Ireland’s borrowing targets for 2010 being met already, just over halfway through the year, the auction was hit by Moody’s decision to downgrade Ireland’s rating yesterday.
The decision – which relabelled Irish debt from Aa1 to Aa2, meaning it was considered slightly riskier than previously – forced interest rates on ten-year bonds up to 5.537% – a significant increase on 4.72% rate offered only two months ago.
The rates offered on six-year bonds was slightly down on last month’s price, however. Bonds sold for 4.496%, down from 4.521% last month.
The NTMA has tried to portray the auction in a good light, however, saying it has guaranteed that the exchequer will be “fully funded” into the second quarter of 2011.
The TDs wore the jumpers as Ruth Coppinger TD pushed the Taoiseach for a referendum on abortion following Saturday’s March for Choice.
The wearing of the jumpers emblazoned with a slogan used by pro-choice campaigners was criticised by some politicians, however. Fine Gael TD Ciarán Cannon called it a ‘stunt’.
Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl said that it wasn’t forbidden per se, but that “party political” emblems shouldn’t be shown. He also said that clothing infractions could be investigated by the committee on procedure and privileges.
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