Ireland launches debut 30-year bond sale to lock in low yields

Some €4bn raised in sale at a yield of just below 2.1%

A market source told Reuters on Monday that a benchmark 30-year bond issue would typically be in the range of €1.5 billion to €2 billion

A market source told Reuters on Monday that a benchmark 30-year bond issue would typically be in the range of €1.5 billion to €2 billion

 

Ireland raised €4 billion at its first 30-year bond sale on Tuesday, drawing bumper demand even at record low interest rates and moving more than halfway towards its 2015 issuance target after just five weeks. Buoyed by a €1-trillion European Central Bank stimulus programme that will include government bond purchases,

Ireland sold the debt at a yield of just below 2.1 per cent. Investors bid over €11.2 billion , according to one lead banker. The syndicated deal follows seven- and 15-year bond sales, also via syndication, since November that have allowed

Ireland’s National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA), which was shut out of bond markets as recently as 2010, to lock in cheap funding for years to come.

“They’ve really done a very good job of lengthening out the maturity of

Ireland’s debt, which will be looked favourably on by ratings agencies. There’s a huge amount of positives attached to this deal,” said Ryan McGrath, a bond dealer at Cantor Fitzgerald. “Obviously there was huge demand, a lot of pension funds, a lot of life insurers, both from the UK and continental Europe.”

Demand was far in excess of the €2 billion deal size that market participants said would be typical of a benchmark 30-year issue. The yield was also better the 3.2 per cent Italy paid when it sold 30-year debt last month, shortly before the ECB announced its quantitative easing programme, which will buy bonds with maturities of up to 30 years.

When Ireland returned to short-term debt markets in July 2012 following a near two-year hiatus during the first part of its international bailout, it paid 1.8 per cent to sell €500 million of three-month paper. But in common with most other euro zone bond yields, Irish borrowing costs have fallen sharply in the past year, aided by a growth rebound that saw

Ireland’s economy probably grow faster than any other European Union country in 2014.

Ireland’s central bank on Tuesday raised its forecast for 2015 economic growth to 3.7 per cent from 3.4 per cent, citing stronger consumer and investment spending.

Dublin sold €4 billion in January’s syndicated seven-year sale, out of planned issuance of between €12 billion and €15 billion of long-term bonds this year.

The NTMA fully pre-funded for 2015 last year. It plans this year to cover funding requirements for 2016 and to refinance bailout loans from the International Monetary Fund.

Barclays, Citi, Credit Agricole CIB, Danske Bank, Davy and Royal Bank Of Scotland were joint lead managers for Tuesday’s transaction.

Reuters