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Coalition refuses to transfer more loans into NAMA

The incoming government will not honour a key demand of the IMF-EU bailout programme which required NAMA to take over thousands of property loans valued at less than €20m.

The IMF-EU plan insisted that about 10,000 land and development loans, valued below a €20m threshold, be moved into the agency by the end of March.

But yesterday senior members of the new administration made it clear there would be no further transfers to NAMA, at least for the foreseeable future.

Sources close to the new government said the transfers would simply crystallise losses up front for the State and it would be better if these loans remained with the banks.

There are believed to be about €16bn of loans in this sub-€20m category, which will not now move to NAMA.

On top of these loans is another group, worth almost €4bn, still waiting to be transferred to NAMA. It is not clear what will happen to these loans.

In this group are loans owned by developer Paddy McKillen, who has taken legal action against NAMA.

Two TDs who are likely to join the Cabinet, Pat Rabbitte and Alan Shatter, have both remarked over the past 48 hours that NAMA will not be allowed to take on any more loans.

Mr Shatter went beyond this yesterday, saying the incoming government believed NAMA was too secret and had contributed to some of the problems with bank balance sheets.

The issue of NAMA taking on more loans, including those worth less than €20m, is expected to be part of the review of the IMF-EU programme, with the new government pressing to renegotiate this element.

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But the IMF-EU programme was clear about the need to shift more loans off the books of AIB and Bank of Ireland.

AIB announced yesterday it had moved €1.1bn of toxic property loans valued at more than €20m each into NAMA.


"Further deleveraging of the banks will be achieved by the extension of the NAMA programme to include about €16bn of land and development loans in AIB and Bank of Ireland," said the programme.

In that context, it may prove difficult for the incoming coalition to alter this requirement.

Deleveraging can occur in several ways and the structure of NAMA is not the only way to shrink the bank's asset base, analysts pointed out last night.

Moving risky loans such as the sub-€20m assets off balance sheets would be likely to leave a large capital hole behind, they pointed out. However, the IMF-EU programme envisaged some of the €85bn being used for this purpose.

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