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UPDATE 1-Irish fin min says summit to boost Ireland's position
July 21, 2011 / 12:16 PM / 6 years ago

UPDATE 1-Irish fin min says summit to boost Ireland's position

* Does note envisage a second bailout

* Sees Irish debt sustainability improving after summit

* Would like Europe to guarantee Irish bonds, no such deal seen on Thurs (Adds details, debt office)

By Conor Humphries

DUBLIN, July 21 (Reuters) - Ireland expects to benefit from measures adopted at a European summit and does not anticipate requiring a second bailout when its existing EU-IMF rescue package runs out in 2013, Finance Minister Michael Noonan said on Thursday.

Euro zone leaders are expected to agree a common position in Brussels later on Thursday on a second bailout package for Greece, including the possibility of allowing Athens to slip into a temporary default to ensure private investors shoulder part of the burden.

Fears investors in Irish debt would be subject to similar burden-sharing in the event of a second Irish bailout has helped push the country’s borrowing costs to fresh peaks on the secondary market.

But Noonan said such fears were overblown and repeated what has become something of a mantra for Irish officials, that Dublin and Athens are world’s apart.

“We think Ireland’s position is sustainable and will be more sustainable after today’s events,” Noonan told reporters in Dublin.

“We are not envisaging a second bailout of any sort,” he added.

Ireland is counting on a resolution of the Greek debt crisis to enable it to return to the debt markets, initially just for short-term paper, in late 2012.

Dublin expects to get a reduction in the average 5.8 percent interest rate on the 67.5 billion euros it is borrowing as part of an 85 billion euros EU-IMF bailout package. Ireland is sourcing the remaining 17.5 billion euros from existing borrowings and cash reserves.

It also hopes that the average 7-1/2 year maturity of its EU-IMF loans will be lengthened as part of an overall deal to solve the Greek and wider euro-zone debt crisis.

Noonan said he has been pushing European leaders to agree to guarantee Irish sovereign bonds to speed up the country’s return to bonds markets.

“If the EFSF fund can give (a) guarantee to the NTMA (Irish debt agency) that would get us back into market immediately at very low cost,” he said.

“But I don’t think it will be in the portfolio of measures to be enacted today.”

Separately, the head of Ireland’s debt management agency ruled out asking private investors to swallow losses on the country’s debts but said it expects to pay less interest on its EU-IMF rescue package and possibly extend its bailout loans as part of efforts to end the euro zone debt crisis.

Writing by Carmel Crimmins

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