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ISEQ at pre-crisis level, NTMA sell bond

Tuesday, January 07 12:49:10

The ISEQ returned to levels last seen before the financial crisis of 2009 as the NTMA were inundated with bids for the first bond sale since the bailout exit last month.

By 12:30, the index was up 40.62 points to 4,636.21.

Reports suggest that there was over E14bn in demand for the new Irish 10-year bond this morning. The bond priced at 140bps over mid-swaps, which represents a yield of around 3.53pc. This is 166bps over German bunds, relative to a spread of 220bps at the time of the sale of 10-year bonds in 2013, according to Dermot O'Leary, chief economist at Goodbody's in Dublin. There is no word yet on the size of the sale, but is likely to be in the E3bn-E3.5bn range, he said. When Ireland sold a new E5bn issue last March, there were over E13bn in orders. "Given the amount sold is likely to be less, the bond should perform well in the after-market. Positive momentum on Ireland continues," Mr O'Leary said.

European stocks rose back towards five and a half year highs today, boosted by strength in the region's periphery and lower than expected unemployment figures from Germany.

Shares in Aer Lingus rose 3c to E1.35 after it said that its total flown passenger numbers, including Aer Lingus Regional operations, were 733,000 in December 2013 compared to 734,000 in December 2012. Short haul flown passengers, including Aer Lingus Regional, in December 2013 were 648,000, a decrease of 1.5pc on December 2012, while long haul flown passengers in December 2013 were 85,000, an increase of 11.8pc on December 2012.

CRH has updated on its development investment for 2013. Development activity investment for the year was E690m, representing a slight increase on the E660m previously announced for the first three quarters of the year. It also represents an increase on the circa E600m invested in 2012. Of the E690m, E220m was invested in H2 in seven acquisition and investment initiatives. CRH had previously indicated that six acquisitions costing E190m were undertaken in Q3. Shares in CRH rose 5c to E19.03.