State sells €1.25bn in long-term debt

Funding will be used to pay for Government measures to deal with pandemic

The State raised €1.25 billion across two bond auctions on Thursday with a negative interest rate in place for most of the funding.

The State's debt management agency, the National Treasury Management Agency, said it sold €1 billion worth of bonds at a negative rate of 0.098 per cent. That debt is due to mature in March 2031.

The remaining €250 million, due to mature in May 2050, was sold at a rate of 0.52 per cent.

As has been the case for Irish bonds in the recent past, the State generated significant interest in the bonds. For the 2031 bond, it received bids of in excess of €1.8 billion while for the 2050 bond it received bids of €471 million.


The NTMA has already raised €21.25 billion in long-term bond funding in 2020.


However, the agency could raise up to €24 billion this year. The Taoiseach Micheál Martin confirmed the budget deficit this year would reach €30 billion due to the Covid-19 crisis.

The funding will primarily fund Government measures to deal with the pandemic, which include the State’s two wage-support schemes.

NTMA chief executive Conor O’Kelly has previously warned that the increased level of borrowing has left the State exposed to rising interest rates.

Peter Hamilton

Peter Hamilton

Peter Hamilton is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in business