Sunday 15 September 2019

Country's biggest housing development site Poolbeg on the market 'within weeks'

NTMA building
NTMA building

David Chance, Economics Correspondent

The National Asset Management Agency (Nama) is to bring the Poolbeg Special Development Zone in Dublin’s docklands to market in the next six to eight weeks, its top executives said as the agency announced plans to return €4bn to the Exchequer, €500m more than expected.

Nama’s full year results, which were announced on Thursday showed it generated €3.27bn in cash last year of which €3.14 billion was from the sale of loans and properties. This compares with €3.27 billion generated in the prior year, of which €2.43 came from sales

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe said that the funds from Nama would be used to pay down debt.

"2018 saw another excellent financial performance from Nama, as we made a significant profit for the eighth year in a row and increased our projected lifetime surplus to €4 billion, subject to market conditions," Nama chief executive Brendan McDonagh told  a press conference to announce the results.

"On top of this NAMA expects that it will have paid taxes to the Exchequer in the region of €400m, bringing its overall contribution to a projected €4.4 billion," he said.

The agency, which was set up in 2009 by then Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan as a vehicle to strip bad debts out from banks that had been bailed out by the state in a bid to get the financial system working again, has generated €44bn in cash since 2010 and sold €37.8bn in assets.

That’s a far cry from an agency that was famously denounced by Nobel Prize winning economist Joe Stiglitz at its inception as a vehicle for “squandering large amounts of money to bail out banks”.

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