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Thursday, 22 April 2021 04:51 GMT

Ireland to repay final 4.5 bn euro IMF bailout debt early


(MENAFN - AFP) Ireland said on Thursday it will make an early repayment of its remaining 4.5 billion euros ($5.4 billion) bailout loans to the International Monetary Fund.

Ireland received 22.5 billion euros ($27 billion) from the IMF in 2010 as part of a 67.5-billion-euro EU-IMF financial assistance programme which helped the country recover after the financial crash.

Ireland could make around 150 million euros of interest savings by repaying its debt ahead of the originally agreed deadlines between 2021 and 2023, the National Treasury Management Agency said.

This will not be the first time Ireland has made an early repayment on its programme loans, as it repaid the IMF 18 billion euros -- around 81 percent of its loan -- between December 2014 and March 2015.

After the 2008 financial crash, Ireland was left heavily indebted by its efforts to save a banking sector hit particularly hard by the collapse in the country's real estate market.

But the country is now on a strong growth path and received permission from the European Union to make early repayments on its IMF loans in September 2014.

Ireland also announced on Thursday it would repay 0.4 billion euros to Denmark and 0.6 billion euros to Sweden, bailout sums initially scheduled for repayment in September and December 2019 respectively.

"The Exchequer is in a healthy funding position," Frank O'Connor, NTMA's director of funding and debt management said.

"Replacing Ireland's loans from the IMF, Sweden and Denmark further reduces our debt service costs, which have declined considerably in recent years."

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