Throughout the entire process of issuing senior bonds the bond issuer itself remains unaware of the individual bondholders' details. The Central Bank has advised me that the process of issuing new senior bonds is normally through underwriting, where one or more securities firms or banks form a syndicate buying the entire bond issue from the issuer and then re-selling to investors. Primary issuance is arranged by these syndicates who contact potential investors and advise the bond issuer in terms of timing, tenor and pricing of the bond issue. The bond issuer will likely have little knowledge of the eventual owners of the bonds; also these owners may over time sell the bonds to other investors.
Bonds are usually issued in bearer form which means that the purchasers of the bonds are unknown, with the bonds usually held by a securities depository company (e.g. Euroclear and Clearstream). When interest and principal payments are made the bond issuer transfers the required funds to the securities depository company who in turn pay the funds through to the bondholders. Securities depository companies, such as Clearstream and Euroclear, usually manage, safekeep and administer the securities that it holds on behalf of the beneficial owners of the bonds and the identity of these owners is not disclosed in the public domain or to the issuer.
The Department has made detailed enquiries through normal channels to establish the identities of the current owners of the senior bonds. Though it may be possible to establish the geographic location by country of the financial institutions and hedge funds which hold the bonds, it has not been possible to ascertain with any certainty the identities of the relevant bondholders.