independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

NAMA took in €6bn from property sales in 2013

National Asset Management Agency  Chief Executive, Brendan McDonagh [right] and Chariman Frank Daly pictured. Picture Frank Mc Grath
National Asset Management Agency Chief Executive, Brendan McDonagh [right] and Chariman Frank Daly pictured. Picture Frank Mc Grath

THE National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) took in nearly €6bn last year, as it continued to offload some of its huge property portfolio.

In a statement, it said it generated €5.8bn in cash during 2013, taking the amount of cash it has taken in since it was set up to more than €16.5bn.

The State's bad bank, which was set up in 2010, revealed the figures as part of its end-of-year statement.

The agency, which has been mired in controversy over the alleged misuse of client information, brought in the cash through the sale of property and loans, and rent on commercial property it owns.

Led by Brendan McDonagh, NAMA is one of the biggest property businesses in the world, with a huge portfolio across the UK and Ireland and other properties in the US and Europe.

Last year it said it would provide around €2bn for Irish property projects over the next three years. About €500m of that has been put to use, with another €1.5bn set to be invested between now and 2017.

That money will finance the "construction of 4,500 new houses and apartments in Dublin, in addition to office accommodation in the city centre, as well as commercially viable retail projects".

"It will also include significant development of the Dublin Docklands and the other main urban centres in response to the emerging growth needs of the economy."

Overall, NAMA had a cash pile of €4.3bn at the end of the year. Businesses have regularly criticised NAMA for how long it takes to make decisions on sales or lending projects, but it claims to be turning around credit requests within four days.

About 17,000 credit decisions were made by NAMA employees during the year, it was claimed. NAMA has been selling down much of its prime investments since it was set up, with much of its London-based property hitting the market in recent months. About €10.6bn worth of loans and property has been sold off so far, covering more than 10,000 properties.

Last month, NAMA executive Martin Whelan said the agency was "disappointed" by the amount of houses it had made available to county councils, but said it was not holding back houses that could be used.

In 2013, only 596 houses were formally taken on by the councils, with another 600 due to be transferred this year. An additional 900 houses and apartments may be transferred in 2015 or 2016.

Irish Independent

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