Bailout exit within sight after €5bn deal on the markets
The chances of a successful exit from the EU/IMF bailout at the end of next year increased dramatically yesterday after we borrowed more than €5bn on international markets.
It was the first deal of its kind since we were forced to cancel "bond auctions" in September 2010 -- a move that paved the way for the humiliation of the bailout.
As such, it represented a huge boost to the country's finances.
Now our economy has shown we can borrow long-term cash on the markets in our own name.
It makes it far more likely that the State can stand on its own two feet, funding itself without international rescue loans by the end of 2013, when the bailout is due to end.
That would spare us the pain and humiliation of a Greek-style second bailout and mean an end to supervision of Irish affairs by EU and IMF officials.
Finance Minister Michael Noonan said: "This is a significant step for Ireland in regaining our economic sovereignty."
Insiders say around 60pc of the bond was sold to investors from abroad. The rest has gone to banks, insurers and pension funds here.
Donal O'Mahony, a bond trader at Davy Stockbrokers said: "Ireland returned to the markets in style."
Traders said the amount of cash raised exceeded even the most optimistic estimate.