Written Answers - National Cash Reserves

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 733 No. 1

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  81.  Deputy Peter Mathews  Information on Peter Mathews  Zoom on Peter Mathews   asked the Minister for Finance  Information on Michael Noonan  Zoom on Michael Noonan   the value of cash reserves and all other investments held by the National Treasury Management Agency and the National Pensions Reserve Fund; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12432/11]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): Information on Michael Noonan  Zoom on Michael Noonan  The value of the cash reserves are:

National Treasury Management Agency

The National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) was established in December 1990 to manage the assets and liabilities of the Irish Government/Exchequer. I am informed by the NTMA that cash reserves and other investments of €18.8 billion were held by the NTMA as of 18 May 2011, consisting of:

The money placed on temporary deposit with the commercial banks has the effect of reducing the need for reliance on the Central Bank’s exceptional liquidity assistance (ELA) facility. It also earns a higher return than if placed with the Central Bank. The €5.2 billion in the Exchequer Account represents the standard level of cash maintained by the NTMA to ensure the ongoing liquidity of the Exchequer. Under the EU/IMF Programme of Financial Support for Ireland, Ireland is to provide €17.5 billion as its contribution to the programme. Of this amount, €10 billion will be provided from the National Pensions Reserve Fund and the balance of €7.5 billion from domestic cash resources.

National Pensions Reserve Fund

The National Pensions Reserve Fund (NPRF) was established on 2 April 2001 under the National Pensions Reserve Fund Act 2000 for the purpose of meeting as much as possible of the cost to the Exchequer of social welfare pensions and public service pensions to be paid [104]from the year 2025 until the year 2055, or such other year as may be specified by order. Subsequent amendments to the National Pensions Reserve Fund Act provide that the Minister for Finance may direct the National Pensions Reserve Fund Commission to invest in certain credit institutions, buy Government bonds and, until 2013, provide money to the Exchequer for capital purposes.

The total value of the National Pensions Reserve Fund, according to its most recently-published figures, was €23.2 billion at 31 March 2011. This can be broken down as shown in the following table.

As at 31 March 2011 € billion
Directed Investments:
—invested in Bank of Ireland and Allied Irish Banks on the direction of the Minister for Finance 2009 7.9
—held in cash on foot of a direction from the Minister for Finance in February 2011 5.5
(this will form part of the contribution required from the Exchequer under the EU/IMF Programme of Financial Support for Ireland)
Discretionary Portfolio:
(i.e., available to the NPRF Commission for investment):
—investments held by the NPRF Commission 8.4
—held in cash by the NPRF Commission 1.4
Total 23.2

The NPRF Commission was directed to realise a further €4.5 billion in April 2011, bringing the amount set aside by the NPRF Commission for the EU/IMF Support Programme from €5.5 billion to the full €10 billion envisaged.

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