Ireland still owes €44.5 billion in bailout loans provided by the Troika in 2011 after paying off the remaining €4.5 billion it owed to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) ahead of schedule earlier this week.
The National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA), the body which manages the State's debts, confirmed the repayment to the IMF on Wednesday, a day after it was revealed that €1 billion in bilateral bailout loans provided to Ireland by Sweden and Denmark had also been repaid ahead of time.
The NTMA said the early repayment of the various loans, which were due to be repaid between January 2021 and December 2023, would save the country about €150 million in debt servicing costs.
The funds were provided to Ireland at the height of the financial meltdown when the country was forced to avail of a €67.5 billion EU-IMF bailout package after the banking and property sectors here crashed.
The loans included €22.5 billion from the IMF, €22.5 billion from the European Financial Stabilisation Mechanism (EFSM), and €22.5 billion from the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), which included a combined €4.8 billion in bilateral loans from the UK, Sweden and Denmark.
Having repaid all of the money it owed to the IMF and the bilateral loans to Sweden and Denmark, Ireland now owes about €44.5 billion. This comprises €22.5 billion to the EFSM, €18.4 billion to the EFSF and £3.2 billion (€3. 6 billion) to the UK.
On Tuesday, the Danish finance ministry praised Ireland for its “exemplary” approach to restoring its public finances after repaying the loan.
This week was not the first time the country had sought to cut costs by repaying loans ahead of time. Between 2014 and 2015 the country repaid €18 billion of its more expensive IMF bailout loans after replacing the debt with funds raised at cheaper market rates. This saved the State an estimated €1.5 billion.