Ireland sells €5.5bn debt; demand drives yield negative

Ireland’s debt agency said it raised almost a third of its 2021 fundraising target on Tuesday by selling €5.5 billion of 10-year bonds at a negative yield.

The National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) said in a statement that demand of more than €40 billion pushed the yield of its new 10-year benchmark bond to minus 0.257% in the syndicated sale.

The agency has said it aims to borrow between €16 billion and €20 billion in the bond market in 2021.

“The National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) has today raised €5.5 billion through the syndicated sale of a new 10-year benchmark Treasury Bond maturing in October 2031,” said the NTMA.

“The funds were raised at a negative yield, -0.257%.

“There was strong demand from a diversified investor base for today’s transaction.

“The total order book was in excess of €40 billion and included over 240 individual accounts.

“In terms of geographic distribution, 93% was taken up by overseas investors.

“The final allocation was U.K. 33%, France and Benelux 14%, Nordics 12%, Germany 10%, Italy 10%, Ireland 7%, Other Europe 8% and US/Other 7%.

“The main investor categories were banks 48%, followed by fund managers 30%, hedge funds 11%, pension & insurance 5% and official institutions 5%.”

Frank O’Connor, NTMA Director of Funding and Debt Management, said: “This is an encouraging start to our 2021 issuance programme and demonstrates the continued strong demand from a broad investor base for Irish sovereign debt.

“Today’s transaction brings us to over 30% of the mid-point of our target funding range of €16 – €20 billion for the year.

“Coupled with the significant cash balances we brought into 2021 and the absence of any bond maturities this year, our funding position is strong.”

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