Sunday 24 September 2017

NAMA in profit but write-off of €1.3bn

Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

NAMA MADE a profit in 2011 for the first time but was forced to write €1.3bn off the value of its assets as the agency continues to struggle against the impact of falling property values.

The National Asset Management Agency made a profit of €247m in 2011, according to its annual report published yesterday. That compares with a loss of €1.18bn in 2010.

A robust defence of the agency was not enough to distract from the reality that the €247m profit figure was largely due to a tax credit. Without the favourable tax treatment, the profit would have been just €11m.

Even that more modest figure represents the first real profit for the agency. The tax credit is available because some profits will be tax free due to the scale of writedowns on its asset values.

Launching the report, officials at NAMA yesterday set out to demolish what they called the persistent "myths" about the agency, including a belief that NAMA was loaded up with ghost estates and unsellable sites in rural counties.

NAMA said 90pc of the Irish property it controlled was in prime commuter regions in and around the big cities of Dublin area, Cork, Limerick and Galway.

It controlled "just" 10pc of the worst unfinished estates in the country, and was one of the few developers with the cash to develop out such schemes, the agency said.

Rural counties account for just a fraction of the assets. More than half of its UK assets are in London.

"We are accused of ruining the hotel industry... nothing could be further from the truth," the NAMA chief executive Brendan McDonagh said.

He said NAMA controlled 121 out of 900 hotels in Ireland, and 20 golf courses.

NAMA says it is indirectly supporting 10,000 jobs in small and medium businesses, which are linked to NAMA loans.

Some 214 staff at the state- controlled bad bank manage €74bn of loans bought from bailed-out banks at an initial



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