Irish Debt Office Says Investors ‘Holding Fire’ on Brexit Fears

Irish debt office Chief Executive Officer Conor O’Kelly said investors are holding off on decisions on Ireland awaiting the outcome of the U.K. vote on Brexit.

Financial markets have taken a decision to “hold fire,” O’Kelly told reporters at event in Trinity College in Dublin.

“We don’t have an auction in June deliberately,” O’Kelly said, adding it’ll “no doubt will be extremely volatile” if the U.K. votes for Brexit. “The best way to protect ourselves is not to be involved at this particular time.”

O’Kelly said he’s “optimistic” the nation’s credit rating may be upgraded again, after Moody’s Investors Service earlier this month returned Ireland to an ‘A’ rating. Still, he said “doesn’t understand” how Ireland can sell a century bond at a yield as low as 2.35 percent in March.

“It’s more a statement on the dysfunctional nature of interest rate markets than it is on Ireland’s credit,” O’Kelly said “It is an extraordinary environment.”

Ten-year Irish bonds yielded 0.77 percent on Thursday, narrowing the spread between benchmark bonds and German securities of a similar maturity to 62 basis points.

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