By John Geddie
LONDON, Jan 7 (IFR) - Investors are frantically trying to
get hold of Ireland's first debt sale since it exited its EU/IMF
bailout programme late last year, with initial interest
exceeding EUR9bn, market sources said on Tuesday.
Even before initial price thoughts were released for
Ireland's sale of the new 10-year bond on Tuesday morning,
traders were making prices for brokers in the 'grey market' to
satisfy demand from investors who felt they were unlikely to get
the allocations they wanted in the debt sale.
Lead managers - Barclays, Citi, Danske, Davy, Deutsche Bank
and Morgan Stanley - later released initial price thoughts of
mid-swaps plus 150bp area, but quickly revised guidance tighter
after interest topped EUR9bn, including EUR1.5bn from Ireland's
Ireland, rated Ba1/BBB+/BBB+, set price guidance at
mid-swaps plus 145bp area on the new March 2024 bond, and later
fixed the spread at mid-swaps plus 140bp just before books were
set to close at 0930GMT.
The deal will price later on Tuesday, and at current market
rates is set to offer a yield of just above 3.5%, flat to
Ireland's secondary curve.
The Irish debt agency has given no indication of the size of
the issue, but a source familiar with the transaction told
Reuters on Monday that guidance was for around EUR3bn.
Irish yields have fallen steadily from peaks above 15% in
2011, and last year dropped lower than those of Spain and Italy,
neither of which have suffered the embarrassment of a sovereign
The sale will be Dublin's first bond issue since March 2013,
when it sold EUR5bn 10-year transaction, and is seen as a
bellwether both for investor confidence in Ireland's ability to
go it alone after it successfully exited its bailout in
December, and market appetite for the debt of other countries in