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Ireland seeks to repay IMF bailout loans early: minister
From:Xinhua  |  2017-09-08 04:30

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DUBLIN, Sept. 7 (Xinhua) -- Irish Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe said on Thursday his country will seek early repayment of 5.5 billion euros (6.6 billion U.S. dollars) of loans taken under its 2010 EU-IMF bailout.

In a statement, Donohoe said the Irish government intends to "repay early, and in full, the outstanding program-related IMF debt and the bilateral loans from both Sweden and Denmark".

The interest savings from these early repayments are estimated to be about 150 million euros over the remaining lifetime of the loans, he said.

"Early repayment of the loans will require agreement from our European lenders to waive the proportionate early repayment clauses in our respective loan agreements.

"Formal discussions will now begin with our EU partners to seek the necessary waivers," he added.

The Irish minister also said he has been in contact with IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde who has confirmed support for the early repayments.

In late 2010, Ireland borrowed money from both the IMF and the European Union to avoid bankruptcy after it was cut off from market financing.

Ireland returned to markets after the bailout program ended in December 2013, and the cost of replying the IMF is now higher than borrowing from the European Union, and from markets.

Ireland's loans to the IMF carry an interest rate of almost 5 percent, while the cost of borrowing on financial markets is less than 2 percent.