UPDATE 1-Ireland to borrow less in 2020 due to pre-funding

(Adds details) DUBLIN, Dec 9 () – Ireland plans to borrow between 10 billion euros and 14 billion euros in 2020, the country’s debt agency said on Monday, down from the 15 billion euros raised this year that will cover some of its future requirements. The National Treasury Management Agency has taken advantage of record low interest rates as well as an economy that has grown faster than any other in the European Union since 2014 to pre-fund ahead of major bond redemptions at a low cost. That will leave it with a projected cash balance of more than 15 billion euros heading into next year when it must redeem some 20 billion euros of debt – including almost half of the 3.8 billion euros it borrowed from Britain as part of a 2010 international bailout. The government also hopes to run a bigger-than-forecast surplus of 0.4% of gross domestic product for 2020, handing over 1.4 billion euros to the NTMA to help with its refinancing after it spent a decade funding large budget surpluses. “2020 marks the last year in which redemptions of significant scale fall due,” NTMA Director of Funding Frank O’Connor said in a statement. “This follows our programme of extending the average maturity of Irish government bonds, which has increased to close to 10 years and is now one of the longest average maturities in Europe.” (Reporting by Conor Humphries and Padraic Halpin; Editing by Jon Boyle and Hugh Lawson)Our Standards:The Thomson Trust Principles.