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Brussels, 5 Janvier 2010

€5 billion bond issue for Ireland

The European Commission today placed a €5 billion bond issue on behalf of the European Union under the European Financial Stability Mechanism (EFSM) to finance the first tranche of the EU/IMF financial support agreed for Ireland last December.

The issuance spread was fixed at mid-swap plus 12 basis points, at the tight end of the initial price guidance.

The resulting interest rate of the loan to Ireland will be 5.51% composed of the cost of borrowing for the EU at 2.59% plus a margin of 2.925% as decided by the Council on 7 December 2010. This margin goes back to the EU Budget and is distributed to the EU 27 MS at the end of each financial year. The Commission does not charge any fees or keep any margin for its own use.

The funds will be disbursed to Ireland on 12 January (five business days settlement).

The investor's interest was very strong, and within less than one hour the book was oversubscribed by more than 3 times. Investor demand came from around the world and from all types of investors.

This is a sign of confidence in the euro area and a recognition of the EU as a prime issuer.

The EU borrows in euro for on-lending in euro to sovereigns only on a back to back basis.


The EU rated Aaaa/AAA/AAA by Moody's, S&P and Fitch

Under the EFSM the EU can borrow up to €60 bn to on-lend to any EU Member State, whereas under the Balance of Payments (“BoP”) facility, support is available only to Member States which have not yet adopted the EUR.

In the context of the EFSM and based on the existing financial support programme to Ireland, the EU's funding program in 2011 could reach up to €17.6 bn raised through benchmark transactions. There will also be up to €1.5 bn under the BoP facility to finance commitments to Romania.

See also IP/10/1768 issued on 21 December 2010 regarding further funding plans for Ireland.

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