October 1, 2018 / 4:56 PM / 19 days ago

UPDATE 1-Ireland could raise 2-3 bln euros from first "green bond" - source

* Ireland to issue debut bond, subject to market conditions

* Debt agency meets investors in Paris, London, Scandanavia (Adds source on potential size of issue, roadshows)

DUBLIN, Oct 1 (Reuters) - Ireland announced plans on Monday to issue its first “green bond” during the final quarter that a market source said could raise between 2 and 3 billion euros and follow a series of meetings with investors over the next two weeks.

Ireland’s debt agency first flagged its plans to diversify into the increasingly popular category of green securities earlier this year. Last month it said it would hold roadshows in the coming weeks to brief investors on the green bonds, which raise capital for projects with environmental benefits.

The National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) and government representatives met investors in Paris on Monday and will travel to London and Scandanavia later this week before a further meeting in Dublin next week, the source said.

The bond, which the NTMA plans to issue in the next three months subject to market conditions, will be sold via a syndication of banks, it said in a statement.

Although green bonds make up a small fraction of the overall bond market, global interest has soared as banks, sovereigns and companies look to tap the appetite for climate-friendly investments.

Global green bond issuance hit a record $155.5 billion in 2017, surpassing previous estimates, and could reach $250 bln-$300 bln this year, research from the Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI) showed in January.

Ireland has so far raised 13.5 billion euros of the 14 to 18 billion euros it plans to issue in long-term debt this year, and will also hold one more regular bond auction on Nov. 8. (Reporting by Padraic Halpin Editing by Gareth Jones)

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