Ireland’s nine year bond yields closed below 6% for the first time since October 2010. The country’s yield dropped to 5.97%, the lowest level in 22 months and almost two years on since the beginning of their EU-IMF bailout program.
This welcome development is particularly useful as it comes ahead of the Irish National Treasury Management Agency’s (NTMA) plan to raise up to €1bn of amortizing bonds. If those bonds are raised as easily as their last two bond auctions, the Irish government are expected to use that extra money to increase the country’s borrowing capabilities as well as address an insufficiency in the pension funds.
In addition to the NTMA’s amortizing bonds plan, the organization said it expects to raise between €3-5bn over the course of the next 18 months, especially with inflation-linked bonds.
This comes as the borrowing rates for both Spain and Italy also dropped, with the Spanish one dropping sharply by almost 1%. But it’s not only Ireland, Spain or Italy who have benefited from lower borrowing rates as a wave of positive sentiment swept across the continent, with several other countries taking advantage of these kinder rates.
The assured belief is a result of high hopes that the European Central Bank will take the necessary steps this week to move closer to fixing the problem of the euro crisis. However, we have had many false dawns of this euro crisis being solved in the past four years and although there are signs that this could be the week, there is nobody getting their hopes up too highly on this occasion.
The good news comes on the back of the Emerald Isle’s great success last month as the republic managed to auction off their first long-term bonds since November 2010. In that instance, the Irish exceeded their own expectations of returning to the markets in 2013, 6 months in advance.