Sunday 18 March 2018

'Business as usual' feel to IOUs

THE way 'The Punt' sees it, Ireland will have fully returned to the markets when newspapers no longer see any need to report new issuance of government bonds, except in passing.

We're not quite there yet but yesterday's successful issue of €500m of short term IOUs did have a reassuringly "business as usual" feel to it.

It was the third deal of its kind this year. Taken alongside a September issue it's the first time two such bond deals have been done back to back. That pattern is now set to continue for the rest of the year.

A year ago many -- even most -- observers would have regarded that kind of trend, this early, as fantasy.

Its why 'The Punt', unlike some market watchers, didn't see the 0.7pc price paid for the debt as disappointing. Indeed its a price that compares favourably to the rates paid by Spain and Italy.

Now, we're not losing the run of ourselves. The country won't be fully back in the markets until we're borrowing much longer term IOUs on an equally regular, equally unproblematic basis. Risks remain, but we are edging closer all the time.

Irish Independent

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