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Saturday 30 August 2014

NAMA on course to make €1bn profit for the taxpayer

Thomas Molloy

Published 28/05/2014 | 02:30

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NAMA Chairman Frank Daly at Treasury Buildings last thursday.
Photo: Tony Gavin 26/7/2012
NAMA Chairman Frank Daly at Treasury Buildings Photo: Tony Gavin

THE National Asset Management Agency may yet make a €1bn profit for taxpayers.

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NAMA boss Brendan McDonagh said that the agency may yet make a profit when it winds down, thanks to the rebound in the property market.

The Kerryman said the agency must first repay lenders but could also end up paying the Government a surplus. He declined to speculate on how much would be paid, but sources said yesterday that it may well be €1bn.

The good news comes as Finance Minister Michael Noonan wonders what to do with the agency, which was set up by his predecessor in 2010.

Mr Noonan has commissioned a report on the future of NAMA which is due to be completed next month. The report may well call for the agency to speed up asset sales. Nama is currently two years ahead of schedule and "is not a long-term project", Mr McDonagh said yesterday at the launch of the agency's annual report.

NAMA is making money at the moment as it sells land in London's overheating property market and office blocks in Dublin. It now faces a more difficult job as it begins off-loading property in secondary areas where prices have not been rising.

From inception to date, NAMA has generated €18.6bn in cash, including €14.1bn from asset disposals, it said in the report.

The agency said it expects to hand over more than 1,000 apartments to homeless charities by the end of the year, Mr McDonagh added.

Pressed on why NAMA has sold so few apartments to homeless charities, chairman Frank Daly said the chief reason was that most NAMA property is unsuitable.

Homeless charities are looking for one-bedroom flats in city locations which are not the sort of property owned by NAMA.

A new decision to rezone land in the Dublin docklands could change this, he added.

Irish Independent

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