Saturday 18 November 2017

Noonan to tell ECB: We don’t want to pay Anglo debt reporters

THE Minister for Finance is seeking a meeting with ECB president Jean-Claude Trichet to tell him that the Government feels it shouldn’t have to repay a $1bn - €711m - debt owed by Anglo Irish Bank.

Michael Noonan claims that the bondholders should not be repaid with taxpayers’ money, given the state of Ireland’s finances.

But Mr Trichet has always resisted any move in this direction as the ECB fears it could undermine confidence in other Eurozone banks..

With a big repayment looming in early November, Mr Noonan wants to raise this question with Mr. Trichet in a private meeting.

The first opportunity for such a meeting is next week at a meeting of European finance ministers in Poland.

Mr Noonan believes it is reasonable to target unguaranteed senior bonds in Anglo and Irish Nationwide Building Society, which are now merged.

He claims, as they have been wound down, they are no longer functioning as banks.

The Government has previously imposed big losses on the holders of junior or subordinate bonds in Ireland’s banks which have lower legal protection against default.

The total amount of unguaranteed senior unsecured debt in Anglo and Irish Nationwide is roughly €3.8 billion.

The next repayment falls on November 2nd, two days after Mr Trichet leaves office.

A further €1.25 billion must be due in January.

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