Noonan Says Ireland Isn’t Actively Seeking Precautionary Line

Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan said the government is making progress in its efforts to regain full market access and isn’t “actively” seeking a precautionary credit line.

“We are moving quite well in terms of exiting the program and getting back into the market,” Noonan told reporters in Dublin today, referring to Ireland’s bailout. “We are not actively pursuing precautionary lines” and “we don’t see that as urgent at present,” he said.

Noonan raised the possibility last year of a precautionary credit line being provided to the government as it makes a full return to international markets. Ireland’s debt agency sold 5 billion euros ($6.5 billion) last month in its first 10-year debt issuance since its international rescue in 2010.

The yield on Ireland’s security due in March 2023 held at 3.91 percent today, down from 4.22 percent at the end of March.

The Irish finance minister was speaking before a meeting with European Union colleagues in Dublin that starts later today. Asked about seven-year extensions on the bailout loans granted to Portugal and Ireland, Noonan said he’s “hopeful” that some progress will be made.

Portugal’s situation has been complicated after a court blocked budget cuts required under the country’s bailout.

Noonan said that “we’re not sure yet whether there will be a political decision taken tomorrow morning or not.”

“It’s not possible to take the formal decision,” he said. Portugal will “obviously have to come forward with alternative proposals to replace those that have been deemed unconstitutional.”

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