Eurozone member Ireland on Thursday auctioned short-term public debt at a negative yield for the first time as the European Central Bank's stimulus programme drives down borrowing costs across Europe.
The National Treasury Management Agency sold 500 million euros ($532.77 million) of six month treasury bills at a yield of minus 0.01 percent.
Negative yields mean investors will pay to lend money to those seeking cash. But they can still make money should for example the eurozone suffer a period of deflation, or negative inflation.
Bond prices meanwhile rise when yields drop, handing investors another way of making money from government debt delivering negative rates of return.
The European Central Bank recently embarked on its long-awaited quantitative easing programme aimed at preventing the eurozone from sinking into deflation.
Over at least 18 months the ECB plans to buy 60 billion euros' worth of bonds per month to lower long-term interest rates with the aim of fostering spending and investment.
A number of countries across the eurozone, including Germany, Finland and France, have now raised money at negative interest rates.
Ireland's negative rates marks a remarkable turnaround for the eurozone nation after high borrowing costs on international markets forced it to seek an EU-IMF rescue in late 2010.
Dublin has implemented a series of tax hikes and spending cuts since 2008 and last year its economy grew at the fastest rate in Europe.
"Our yields are closer to the northern European economies than the southern ones that have trouble with their fiscal numbers," said Conall Mac Coille, chief economist with Davy Stockbrokers.
"It shows we've built up a lot of credibility on the markets in terms of our growth prospects and to sticking to budgets and hitting targets," he told AFP.
Ireland's Thursday's bill auction attracted significant interest with total bids of 1.965 billion euros on offer, 3.93 times the amount.
Last week, Ireland raised one billion euros of 30-year-debt at a yield of 2.07 percent.