Ireland repays additional IMF bailout loans

[DUBLIN] Ireland on Friday repaid a further 3.5 billion euros (S$5.35 billion) to the IMF several years early, as the eurozone country replaces expensive bailout loans with more favourable debt.

Friday's payment follows a 9.0-billion euros payment in December and together both payments had been due by mid-2019.

A further 5.5 billion euros will be repaid to the IMF in the coming months, minister for finance Michael Noonan said.

"The early repayment plan will result in interest savings in excess of 1.5 billion euros over the lifetime of the loans," Mr Noonan said in a statement.

"Lower rates lead to lower interest bill on the national debt thus reducing the amount of tax revenues and borrowing that go towards financing the debt," Mr Noonan added.

Dublin aims to repay more than 18 billion euros of the 22.5 billion euros borrowed from the IMF at a cheaper cost than originally planned.

Ireland's economy has performed strongly since exiting the bailout programme in December 2013, with yields on its debt now at record lows.

On Tuesday, it raised 4.0 billion euros of 30-year debt at a yield of 2.1 per cent.

Also this week, the European Commission forecast Ireland to grow by 3.5 per cent this year, the fastest rate in the European Union.


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