BRUSSELS Ireland has received a first tranche of 3.6 billion euros ($4.9 billion) from the euro zone rescue fund, slightly more than the initial amount agreed, a fund source told Reuters on Sunday.
The effective lending cost to Ireland was 5.9 percent, the source added.
The European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) raised 5 billion euros from a debut sale of five-year bonds late last month.
The funds are to be used to help finance the 85 billion euro EU/IMF bailout of Ireland, which followed Greece last year in seeking a rescue to cope with the huge losses of its banking sector.
"As part of the EU/IMF financial support package agreed for Ireland, EFSF transferred 3.6 billion to the Republic of Ireland," an EFSF source said, adding: "Due to the successful issue, the amount transferred to Ireland was higher than the minimum 3.3 billion agreed."
The EFSF has said its Irish programme would include two more benchmark bonds of 3 to 5 billion euros each this year. It plans to issue 17.6 billion euros in 2011 and as much as 4.9 billion euros in 2012.
The EFSF's debut bond sale was done at implied borrowing cost of 2.89 percent.
(Reporting by Ilona Wissenbach; Writing by Philip Blenkinsop; Editing by David Holmes)