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AIB to issue ICBs Back  
AIB is set to become the second mortgage bank, and the third Irish bank, to enter the burgeoning Irish covered bond (ICB), or Asset Covered Securities (ACS) market. The bank, which received authorisation for its new mortgage bank, AIB Mortgage Bank as a ‘designated credit institution’ by the Financial Regulator in February, is set to embark on a €15 billion programme. In 2006, the bank is expected to issue up to €4 billion.

Rating agencies Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s Investor Service have assigned preliminary ratings of AAA and (P) Aaa, respectively, to the proposed first issuance.

With AIB soon to be an active issuer, the market is expected to total approximately €16 billion in 2006, as both Bank of Ireland and Depfa Bank plan to issue over the year. Depfa Bank is the most sizable issuer in the Irish market, and this year it expects to go to the market around three times, to issue in the region of €10 billion.

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