Ireland may sell treasury bills
Ireland may sell treasury bills within weeks, returning to international debt markets after almost two years.
European Central Bank president Mario Draghi said Ireland may be able to return to markets in the "not too far distant future" after last week approving the European Union's fiscal treaty in a referendum.
The National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) may seek to sell short-term securities in June or July, chief executive officer John Corrigan said in January.
A NTMA spokesman declined to comment.
"They are on track to do something in the next 10 days or so," said Owen Callan, a Dublin-based analyst at Danske Bank A/S, a primary dealer in Irish debt.
"The elephants in the room are the Greek election and Spain, but at this point my feeling is 70 per cent to 75 per cent they'll go this month."
Even as Ireland mulls a return to markets, the euro-region debt crisis is escalating. Spain, which has resisted pressure to become the fourth euro-area nation to seek a bailout, called on June 5 for the first time for European funds to shore up its banks.
In Greece, voters go to the polls for a second time in six weeks on June 17, in an election which may determine if the euro region survives intact.
"It would be more prudent to wait until after Greek elections, more likely into July, when hopefully we'll have an orderly market," said Barry Nangle, head of fixed income at Davy, also a primary dealer in Irish debt.
"Market intelligence would lead us to believe there is demand out there."
The yield on Ireland's 2020 bonds, considered the benchmark, fell 2 basis points to 7.36 per cent today.
Irish borrowing costs have risen from 6.84 per cent on May 3, before the Greek election, when voters failed to produce a government.
In contrast to Ireland, Greece and Portugal kept selling bills after international authorities bailed them out.
Portugal yesterday sold €1.5 billion of 12- and six- month bills that allowed the country to reach its issuance target for the first quarter.
The securities due in June 2013 were issued at an average yield of 3.834 per cent, falling from 3.908 per cent at the previous auction of 12-month bills on May 2.
At its first sale, Ireland may seek to sell between €500 million and €600 million of bills initially at a yield of 2 per cent or below, Mr Callan said.