Friday 23 February 2018

Noonan looking at 40-year bond for bank debt

Fionnan Sheahan

Fionnan Sheahan

JOBS Minister Richard Bruton yesterday confirmed the Government is looking at a long-term solution to the repayment of debt from the former Anglo Irish Bank.

The Coalition is examining a possible 40-year bond as a way of refinancing the cost of bailing out the bank, Mr Bruton said.

"Michael Noonan has signalled that is an area that is being looked at," he said on RTE Radio.

The potential deal was revealed by the Irish Independent last June in the wake of the EU agreeing to give Ireland a debt deal.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny struck the early morning deal but a key issue on how €64bn will ultimately be repaid has to be resolved.

"A major plank of any deal would focus on pushing out the repayment of bank debt over a period of 35 to 40 years -- something the Government has repeatedly sought.

"The current repayment period is 20 years but a longer timespan would dramatically ease the burden on taxpayers," this newspaper reported on June 30.

Mr Bruton was asked yesterday if the Government was considering a 40-year bond to replace so-called promissory notes used to bail out the lender.

Other European leaders "have commented that they don't want another scheme" to refinance the notes under the European Stability Mechanism, he said.

The Coalition favours using government bonds to restructure the rescue of former Anglo Irish Bank, easing pressure on the State, two officials said.

Under the plan, the State would inject €40bn of notes of as long as 40 years in maturity into the banks, said one source.

Irish Independent

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