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Noonan aims to calm US investors in four-day visit

FINANCE Minister Michael Noonan will host a breakfast in the New York Stock Exchange today as he continues a four-day visit to the US to set out the Irish case to investors.

The IDA Ireland-organised breakfast will be followed by an appearance on US financial channel CNBC's legendary 'Squawk Box' programme which is popular with traders.

Today's meetings are part of a charm offensive to reassure investors who have been unsettled by the debt crisis which pushed up yields on Irish bonds to new records last week.

Investors are concerned about possible defaults inside the eurozone and the Irish Government's insistence that some bondholders in the country's banks take 90pc haircuts.

Sources suggest that state-owned Anglo Irish Bank may announce later this week that it is to begin talks with US investors on selling the failed bank's loan portfolio.

Anglo has properties in prime sites in New York, Boston and Chicago and must sell them within the next three years under the terms of the EU/IMF bailout.

The bank's properties include the Ralph Lauren store in New York and the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Boston.


Yesterday, Mr Noonan met representatives from Morgan Stanley, Barclays and other investment houses for lunch where he gave a brief presentation on the state of the economy and answered questions.

The meetings have been set up by IDA Ireland, Enterprise Ireland, the National Treasury Management Agency and the Central Bank.

Mr Noonan travels to Washington DC tomorrow to discuss the implementation of the EU-IMF bailout deal with the acting head of the IMF John Lipsky. He is also due to meet representatives of the World Bank and US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner or one of his deputies.

On the other side of the continent, Enterprise Minister Richard Bruton was also wooing companies in Silicon Valley.

Mr Bruton said he would focus on companies in the IT, gaming and biopharma sectors.

Irish Independent