Sunday 24 September 2017

NAMA quizzed on buy-back claims

Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

THE Government is to examine claims that some developers have tried to buy back development property from NAMA at massively discounted rates.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said yesterday he was "very concerned" by the suggestions, and said he would ask Finance Minister Michael Noonan to raise the issue with NAMA.

Fianna Fail Senator Mark Daly has claimed several times he believes NAMA is selling some land below market value, but he has failed to supply any proof.

A cabinet minister said yesterday the alleged deals left NAMA open to allegations that it was merely a rescue vehicle for property developers.

"There are certainly elements that I am not happy about," Mr Kenny said. "I have had some indications of attempts to acquire property that was taken from or acquired from developers through a variety of methods.

"I hope that NAMA is on top of that -- where NAMA has acquired assets like that, that they are not finding their way back to where they were acquired from in the first place."

A spokesman for NAMA said yesterday that the law prevented a debtor who was in default on his loans from buying property linked to these loans.

While concerned about the charges, Mr Kenny said he was eager to support NAMA in bringing properties to the market for disposal.

"I would be very anxious that people would make offers to NAMA for assets," he told the Irish Independent.

"This is in order to have the market assess and adjudicate what the base level should actually be."

Loans

NAMA has now acquired property loans totalling €72.3bn -- paying €30.5bn.

Last month, NAMA signalled it was adopting several mechanisms to support the disposal of its vast property bank and generate cash for the State.

NAMA is negotiating a special loan product with Allied Irish Banks and Bank of Ireland to promote residential property sales and will also help finance investors eager to buy Irish commercial property.

NAMA chairman Frank Daly admitted that the crucial problem facing the property sector was liquidity rather than supply and demand.

Irish Independent

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