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NTMA: Ireland funded up to 2015

Tuesday, January 07 14:04:43

Ireland is fully funded up to the first quarter of 2015, according to the National Treasury Management Agency's (NTMA) chief executive John Corrigan today.

Speaking following the release of the Agency's year-end review of operations, Mr Corrigan said the NTMA plans to raise between E6-10 billion from the markets this year and will resume regular bond auctions - subject to market conditions.

The review said the Agency maintained exchequer cash and deposits of E18.5 billion at the end of the year.

The NTMA said the value of the Government stakes in AIB and Bank of Ireland, including cash from the preference share deal, was E13 billion by the end of the year.

The NTMA operates the National Pension Reserve Fund and it said the fund has been working to develop a pipeline of potential investments. The NPRF now has E1.3 billion invested or committed to areas of strategic importance to the economy, including infrastructure, venture capital and long term financing for SMEs.

The NPRF also helped facilitate the first Public Private Partnership projects since the country's entry into the EU-IMF programme, through the National Development Finance Agency. These programmes will see the building of eight new schools and road improvements on the N11 and Newlands Cross near Dublin.

They also include a new DIT campus at Grangegorman in Dublin, primary care centres, courthouses and divisional Garda headquarters.

Through its NewEra unit, the NTMA provided advice and project management services to the Government in relation to the sale of Bord Gais Energy's energy business. NewEra also worked with the ESB in relation of the sale of its 50pc stake in UK based Marchwood Power.

NewEra is now assisting in the setting up of Irish Water, which includes advising on its financing and funding structures.

John Corrigan, the NTMA's chief executive, said that 2014 will see the establishment of an overarching NTMA board which will be chaired by IAG CEO Willie Walsh. He said this new board will greatly assist the NTMA in delivering on its objectives in an integrated and coherent manner across the range of its business activities.

"A particular priority is to complete the conversion of the National Pensions Reserve Fund into the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund which will invest on a commercial basis in areas of strategic importance to the Irish economy. Work on the ISIF business plan is at an advanced stage," he added.