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€5bn return to bond markets

IRELAND'S return to the bond markets for the first time since the IMF bailout has been hailed as a "bold step" by the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA). The move raised almost €5bn in five-year and eight-year maturities.

This was the first time a eurozone bailout country has successfully returned to the markets. Ireland is now being held up as a poster boy for its success in pulling out of recession.

The vast majority of investors who snapped up the bonds were North American-based, particularly pension funds and assets managers.

The rate of 5.95pc is not sustainable in the long term, but was used to tempt investors back into trusting the Irish economy.

Ireland's return to the bond markets and the sale of Irish paper was a "good day" for the State, secretary general of the Department of Finance John Moran said.

"It has been September 2010 since external investors have been prepared to lend new money to Ireland and now we find ourselves back in," Moran said.

NTMA chief executive John Corrigan said that, after two years of being shut out of the primary bond market, the take-up for Irish Government bonds for terms of up to eight years was significant.

"We are very pleased with the success of today's transaction, particularly the fact that investors committed more than ¤4bn of new money to our first long-term issuance since September 2010," he said. "This marks a very significant step for Ireland on the way to full bond market access."