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Noonan pleased with Ireland's bailout exit last month. Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland
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Noonan named as Europe's Finance Minister of the Year by 'The Banker'

The Financial Times’ magazine said that Noonan was awarded the accolade because of his “extraordinary progress” since taking the job in 2011.

MICHAEL NOONAN HAS been named as Europe’s Finance Minister of the Year by the Financial Times’ ‘The Banker’ magazine.

Noonan was awarded the accolade because of his “extraordinary progress” since taking the job in 2011 according to The Banker (subscription required).

The magazine lauds Noonan in particular for the promissory note deal announced last year which it says has allowed the Government to “roll over” debts to the Central Bank “until 2038, with a much-reduced coupon payment”.

It also referenced Ireland’s bailout exit last month and says that “key to this transition was Ireland’s successful re-entry into global capital markets”.

The editorial also noted how Noonan and the Government “remain committed to returning the banking sector to full private ownership” and said that strides have already been made to achieve this, including its says the sale of the life and pensions operations of Irish Life and Permanent.

Despite the optimism, the magazine also says that “no one is under any illusion about the challenges still facing Ireland” and referenced non-performing loans in the banking sector and high unemployment levels as reasons for this.

Three years ago the Financial Times named Brian Lenihan as Europe’s worst finance minister.

Explainer: What happened last night? Why was IBRC liquidated? What happens now? >

Read: ‘We’re only barely getting off the ground’: Noonan dismisses boom suggestions >

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