Wednesday 29 January 2020

NAMA expects Northern book to peak at €3.5bn

Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

NAMA's portfolio of Northern Ireland property loans will peak at €3.5bn, chairman Frank Daly said yesterday. The toxic debt agency paid €1.5bn for the loans -- a "discount" of 57pc.

The new figures were revealed when Mr Daly addressed an Oireachtas committee that monitors the implementation of the Good Friday Agreement, and which also looks at the Northern Ireland economy.

Mr Daly told the committee that NAMA would make new loans to property buyers in the North on the same terms available in Republic.

The so-called 'vendor financing' means NAMA can make its own loans to acquirers of NAMA assets. The agency also plans to roll out its 'negative equity' protected mortgages in the North, if a pilot scheme here is a success.

The NAMA mortgages have been delayed since the end of 2011 while the agency waits for approval from the European Commission. The plan has already been signed off by regulators here. The loans can be financed out of NAMA's own cash reserves, Mr Daly said.

NAMA has generated €6.6bn from asset disposals and has €4.2bn in cash that can be used to finance the work of the agency. "There is no question of going back to the Exchequer for money," Mr Daly said.

The Northern Ireland debt is owed by close to 180 individual borrowers. Northern Ireland accounts for 5pc of the total NAMA portfolio.

The €3.5bn Northern Ireland total is €500m less than expected. That is because some loans have been repaid and because loans linked to a number of borrowers that had been expected to move into NAMA were never transferred by the banks.

Irish Independent

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