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Image: Tim Goode/PA Wire

NTMA meets Irish 'debt repayment milestone'

Agency’s latest figures show that it has repaid 43% of its senior debt liabilities ahead of schedule.
Jul 28th 2014, 4:29 PM 6,903 6

THE NATIONAL TREASURY Management Agency says it has met its first “first debt repayment milestone” in repaying a quarter of its senior debt by the end of last year.

The NTMA said it generated €20.5bn in debtor receipts up to the end of June 2014 and repaid €7.5bn (or 25%) of its senior debt by the end of December 2013 – and a further €5.5bn (or 43% in total) so far this year.

The agency said it raised €7 billion in bond market activity so far this year and is focusing on the next major Irish bond maturity in two years, according to the agency’s latest performance update.

Source: Video TheJournal.ie/YouTube

The NTMA raised €3.75bn in a January 2014 bond syndication, ahead of the restart of its bond auction programme in March 2014.

According to the NTMA’s figures, the Pension Fund’s total value stood at €20.1bn at the end of June 2014, with its discretionary portfolio valued at €7bn and the directed portfolio at €13.1bn.

Speaking at the launch of the report, Minister for Finance Michael Noonan said:

You can almost mark the progress of the country by the progress of the NTMA. We have moved from a situation where three years ago it was not possible to borrow on the international market.

“The NTMA now have very little difficulty raising money on the market to the point where it doesn’t excite a news story anymore.”

Source: Video TheJournal.ie/YouTube

The agency said that the National Pensions Reserve Fund has committed €1.25bn to investments, including a $50m commitment to the joint venture the China Ireland Technology Growth Capital Fund announced earlier this year.

The NPRF allocation will come under the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund for use on developing infrastructure, providing long-term SME funding and venture capital.

NTMA Chief Executive John Corrigan said that, given Ireland’s post-EU/IMF programme return to full market access, the NTMA is focusing on the “next significant maturity” – a 2016 bond.

Corrigan said Ireland has “moved from the opportunistic and syndicated [bond] issuance which characterised our initial return to the markets, to a series of scheduled bond auctions, marking the final step in achieving normal bond market access.”

Read: What do our bond yields actually mean? >

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Susan Ryan

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