Thursday, 17 April 2014

Questions (73)

Michael McGrath

Question:

73. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the amount of cash reserves currently held by the National Treasury Management Agency; if the NTMA has any plans to borrow further money on the markets in 2014; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18473/14]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

At end-March 2014 the Exchequer had €21.5 billion available in cash and other short-term balances.

In January 2014, the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) issued €3.75 billion of a new 10-year bond, at a yield of 3.54 per cent. Following that syndicated issue, the NTMA issued a Funding Statement to the market in February, setting an indicative target for total Irish Government bond issuance in 2014, so as to pre-fund 2015 needs, of approximately €8 billion. A working plan to raise the remaining approximate €4 billion through a series of bond auctions over the course of 2014, with indicative sizes ranging from €0.5 to €1 billion, was outlined in the Funding Statement.

The bond auctions in March and April 2014 each raised €1 billion at respective yields of 2.967 per cent and 2.917 per cent, the lowest yields ever achieved on the issue of Irish 10-year bonds.  With these transactions, over 70 per cent of the bond funding target for 2014 has been completed. The next bond auction is scheduled for Thursday 8 May 2014, subject to market conditions.

As also announced in the February 2014 Funding Statement, a limited programme of Treasury Bill auctions resumed in March with the first auction raising €500 million of three-month Bills at an annualised yield of 0.20 per cent. The next Treasury Bill auction is scheduled for Thursday 15 May 2014, subject to market conditions.