Sunday 24 September 2017

Michael Noonan on investor hunt in top-level meetings

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan T.D. Picture Jason Clarke Photography.
Minister for Finance Michael Noonan T.D. Picture Jason Clarke Photography.
Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

FINANCE Minister Michael Noonan embarks on a charm offensive in the UK today as he meets Bank of England governor Mark Carney and international investors.

The minister arrived in London last night ahead of a meeting with Mr Carney this morning.

"We'd be interested in their perspective in terms of what's happening on their monetary policy side and there is also strong links between the banking and financial systems in both jurisdictions," a spokesman for Mr Noonan said.

The minister will also address a National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) investor lunch and hold talks with the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

The EBRD provides project financing for banks, industries, and businesses as well as new ventures and existing companies.

Direct investments generally range from €5m to €230m, through loan and equity finance, guarantees, leasing facilities and trade finance.

Mr Noonan is a governor of the Bank and Sean Donlon is the Ireland director.

IMPORTANT

Tomorrow, the minister will spend the morning at Bloomberg's London headquarters where he will do an interview with Bloomberg Television and hold a question-and-answer session before an audience.

"Now that we're looking to get back to the markets next year it's important to be meeting the various investors and key players and talking with international media, particularly international market media, in terms of the Irish story, where we're going and what's happening next," the spokesman said.

"This is something that we're going to be doing a lot of."

Mr Noonan's visit comes amid expectations, first reported in the Irish Independent earlier this week, that ratings giant Moody's is set to upgrade the country's credit rating to the much sought-after "investment grade" status.

Moody's is the only major agency that still classes Irish Government debt as risky – so called 'junk' investment. That hurts our ability to borrow on the markets.

However, the Irish Independent understands that analysts from Moody's are expected to announce a decision to lift the Irish rating within weeks, following a series of meetings with senior officials from the National Asset Management Agency in Dublin and Washington.

An upgrade would be a major boost for the country just as we prepare to exit the EU/IMF bailout.

Irish Independent

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