Wednesday 18 October 2017

Nama: damned if it does, and damned if it doesn't

LAST Wednesday, more than three years after the Government first announced its plans for a "bad bank" to buy the Irish-owned banks' bad property loans, Nama finally announced the thrust of its plans for its Irish property portfolio. It now plans to spend up to €2bn on these assets over four years.

The announcement was light on detail. All we were told was that "subject to suitable opportunities" the money would be spent to "preserve, enhance and complete" commercial and residential projects.

The announcement came just two days before public spending watchdog, the Comptroller & Auditor General, warned that Nama would face "considerable challenges" in recovering the full amount that it paid the banks for the loans. This is despite it receiving an average 57 per cent discount.

In practice, Nama is damned if it does and damned if it doesn't. It must decide which of these developments justifies throwing good money after bad to complete and which is fit only to be knocked down and the sites levelled.

Sunday Indo Business

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