March 23, 2012 / 1:40 PM / 7 years ago

Ireland confident of ECB bond deal this weekend -finmin

DUBLIN, March 23 (Reuters) - Ireland is likely to strike a deal this weekend to avoid a 3.1 billion euro ($4.09 billion) cash payment into one of its failed banks, the country’s finance minister was quoted as saying by national broadcaster RTE on Friday.

Michael Noonan said the talks with European Central Bank were progressing well albeit at a delicate stage of negotiations, with some technical difficulties likely to be ironed out to enable a deal to be reached this weekend.

The European Central Bank has warmed to the plan to side-step the payment into the former Anglo Irish Bank that is due next week after the proposal was put to its president by both Noonan and Ireland’s central bank governor.

The finance minister, who made a surprise announcement on Wednesday evening that Ireland plans to settle its promissory note payment with a bond, added that the deferral of the payment was only one element of the talks with the ECB on an overall refinancing of the annual payments.

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