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US investor Michael Hasenstab is biggest holder of Irish debt

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21.06.2012 - Luxembourg - Pictured at the Eurogroup meeting of eurozone finance minister of the EU were, left to right,Michael Noonan, Finance Minister, Ireland.Jean-Claude Juncker, President, Eurogroup.photo by Peter Cavanagh [Must Credit]

21.06.2012 - Luxembourg - Pictured at the Eurogroup meeting of eurozone finance minister of the EU were, left to right,Michael Noonan, Finance Minister, Ireland.Jean-Claude Juncker, President, Eurogroup.photo by Peter Cavanagh [Must Credit]

Peter Cavanagh

21.06.2012 - Luxembourg - Pictured at the Eurogroup meeting of eurozone finance minister of the EU were, left to right,Michael Noonan, Finance Minister, Ireland.Jean-Claude Juncker, President, Eurogroup.photo by Peter Cavanagh [Must Credit]

US investor Michael Hasenstab has emerged as the biggest single holder of Irish debt after betting on the recovery of the economy.

He runs the San Francisco-based Templeton Global Bond Fund.

According to the Financial Times, Franklin Templeton funds, held €6.1bn of Irish government debt at the end of June – the majority of which was owned by Mr Hasenstab’s Templeton Global Bond Fund.

Franklin Templeton funds hold $158bn in assets.

The size of Mr Hasenstab’s holding in Irish bonds has raised eyebrows at some asset managers who claim the success of Ireland’s bond market performances this year are partly driven by investment by the fund.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan confirmed earlier this year that Ireland is making a gradual return to the bond markets after being priced out of the market when the economy collapsed.

The National Treasury Management Agency has raised over €5bn in the markets so far this year.