Saturday 19 April 2014

NAMA tightens purse strings

NATIONAL Asset Management Agency (NAMA) bosses Frank Daly and Brendan McDonagh are sitting atop a cash pile amounting to a cool €3.6bn.

It's the kind of money likely to attract envious glances from elsewhere in the public sector.

That was certainly the case last year, when Finance Minister Michael Noonan tapped the bad bank for a temporary dig-out to help cover the cost of the 2012 Anglo Irish Bank promissory note payment.

This year, mind you, the NAMA chiefs will be able to mount a strong defence against any move by ministers to share their booty. The agency has committed to putting €2bn to work on construction projects over the next four years to help kickstart the economy. Mr Noonan has agreed with the troika that NAMA will repay at least a further €2.75bn it owes the banks this year.

It doesn't leave much room for even temporary redistribution of NAMA resources to the rest of the public sector. The State has shallow pockets and a big bill due to be paid in March though, so the NAMA boys might want to write big cheques over the coming weeks, just to be sure.

Irish Independent

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