Government to test market with 10-year bond
IRELAND is looking to issue a 10-year bond in the first half of this year, Finance Minister Michael Noonan said.
At an event organised by Bloomberg in London, Mr Noonan said the country was now looking to prove it was ready to exit the bailout.
"I think the issuance will be 10-year and that will be one of the serious tests of market conditions and of our ability to get back into the market," Mr Noonan said.
"I would like that we would be back into the markets fully by 2014 . . . and at present I think we are on track."
Mr Noonan said Ireland had received assurances that the eurozone and the International Monetary Fund were prepared to help it ease its way back into longer-term bond markets and that it also planned to mobilise ECB support once the time was right.
The minister said the sale of Irish Life epitomised the progress that had been made, stating it was the first occasion in which a company under state control as a result of the crisis had been put back into private hands.
"The Irish economy is entering its third consecutive year of growth, our deficit is on a downward trajectory and we are beginning to attract the levels of investment required to create jobs and to make a full return to the markets," he said.
Mr Noonan also said that Ireland is Europe's "A" student, and has a strong case for help from the European bailout fund to support banks here.
He said the bailout of Irish banks was done in part at the direction of the European Central Bank to prevent the financial crisis spreading across the eurozone.
It is not yet possible to set out the details of how the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) will take over the cost of rescuing banks in future, the minister said.
However, Ireland has a "very strong case" for intervention from the ESM.
There is a "lot of goodwill" towards Ireland in Europe, he said.
The deal to recast the €30bn bill for rescuing Anglo Irish Bank has been done, and the Government does not expect a challenge from any authority in Europe to the new arrangement, he said.
Mr Noonan also said that promissory notes in Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Nationwide served as a millstone around the neck of the Irish taxpayer.