Business Irish

Sunday 18 March 2018

IMF would back a deal for Ireland to repay most of bank bailout debt - Michael Noonan

Michael Noonan
Michael Noonan
Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

THE IMF would back a deal allowing Ireland to repay most of the bank's share of the bailout ahead of the European rescue funds, Michael Noonan said.

A deal is being actively considered to raise cash on the markets to repay €15bn of the more than €22bn that the Government owes to the IMF after the bank hiked interest rates to almost 5pc, he said.

The planned deal, will require sign off from all euro zone member states as well as the UK, Sweden and Denmark because contracts on their share of the bailout comes with a contract that all loans be repaired at the same time, he said.

The full IMF debt would not be paid off early, because that would dismantle the Troika structure, something that could trigger resistance in Europe.

But by repaying the bulk of the IMF loans in three tranches of €5bn at a time to be raised on the markets the state could shave €20m to €25m off the interest bill on every billion euro refinanced, the minister said.

Gaining acceptance in Europe will be pursued in September and the first €5bn deal could happen as early as this year, he said.

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