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Irish 10-year bond wins global award

Friday, December 13 12:51:31

The NTMA's benchmark 10-year transaction in March (raising E5bn) has been recognised as the bond of the year by the influential International Financing Review (IFR) magazine.

It won in the SSAR (Sovereign/Supranational/Agency/Regional) category.

Ireland made a successful return to capital markets in March 2013 with its first new benchmark bond since the country's controversial bailout in 2010.

The transaction was the ultimate reward for the tough reforms the country had to endure to win back the confidence of international investors and set it on the path to exiting its EU/IMF/ECB-led rescue programme at the end of 2013.

"Ireland has become the poster child for progress under Troika programmes," said Chris Morris, a senior portfolio manager at Amundi in London in discussion with IFR.

Lead managers initially expected to raise E3bn through the 10-year bond sale, and were stunned when a whopping E13bn of orders from nearly 400 investors came in.

Impressive demand allowed Ireland's National Treasury Management Agency to squeeze the new-issue premium out of the deal, and price an upsized E5bn bond flat to its secondary curve, IFR reported.

"Printing such big size with effectively no new issue premium was a very impressive outcome," said Lars Humble, head of SSA syndicate at Goldman Sachs, which handled the deal alongside Barclays, Danske Bank, Davy, HSBC and Nomura.