Ireland sees record demand of almost 70 billion euros for bond sale

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Ireland drew record demand of almost 70 billion euros for the sale of a new 10-year bond on Tuesday, its third so far this year via a syndicate of banks, that a market source had said could raise 4 billion euros to plug the growing budget deficit.

Ireland’s debt agency has been tasked with raising 20-24 billion euros ($23-$27 billion) this year compared to the 10-14 billion euros envisaged at the start of 2020 to fund extra spending resulting from the coronavirus-related shutdown of the economy.

Having raised 12.5 billion euros to date, the National Treasury Management Agency cancelled a planned auction in favour of a syndicated sale after investor feedback suggested demand was likely to outstrip a typical auction size.

A lead manager said the sale, which is expected to price later on Tuesday, had secured at least 69 billion euros of demand, exceeding a record 33 billion euros seen in a similar syndicated sale in April that raised 6 billion euros.

Price guidance was around 30 basis points over the mid-swap level, the manager said. Ireland on Tuesday was joined by Greece, which is also selling a 10-year bond and Spain, which was selling a 20-year bond via syndication.

The government announced on Friday that it would accelerate the cautious unwinding of its coronavirus restrictions.

Ireland expects to turn 2019’s budget surplus into a deficit of between 7.4% and 10% of gross domestic product this year.

Data last week showed Ireland’s tax intake has been broadly stable so far this year, thanks to bumper corporate tax returns.

In funding their coronavirus stimulus programmes, government borrowers are relying much more heavily on syndications, helping them to target a bigger investor base and larger bond issuance.

Ireland mandated Barclays (LON:BARC), BNP Paribas (OTC:BNPQY), Danske Bank, Davy, NatWest Markets and Nomura to sell the bond.

(This story corrects to show price guidance around 30 basis points over the mid-swap, not 32 basis points)

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