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NAMA gave developers €1.1bn credit for projects

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Minister for Finance Michael Noonan, TD

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan, TD

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan, TD

NAMA developers have received more than €1.1bn in credit from the State's bad bank in order to finish off projects, it has emerged.

However, this amount represents less than half of the amount approved by NAMA, newly released figures reveal.

NAMA is engaged with 188 developers in attempting to recover money for the taxpayer and has extended finance to them in order to complete unfinished projects across Ireland, Britain and elsewhere.

According to the figures, from its inception in 2009 to May 23 2012, NAMA "paid over" €643m out of €1.3bn approved.

At that stage, an additional €2bn investment fund was announced by NAMA, but the figures show just €1.1bn has so far been approved and just €517m of that has actually been paid out.

It has emerged that British projects have received the most financing, accounting for 47pc of all funding lent so far. Some 45pc of the credit extended relates to projects in the Irish Republic.

The figures were released by Finance Minister Michael Noonan by way of a response to a parliamentary question from Sinn Fein's finance spokesman Pearse Doherty.

CRITICISM

NAMA has been subjected to much public criticism given its decision to engage with developers whose loans it assumed control of. It has been widely criticised for granting developers salaries of up to €200,000 in two cases.

NAMA said drawdowns may take place in phases in subsequent periods, and hence the full amount has not been utilised. It says when it approves a loan application, it commits to making the loan available for drawdown subject to appropriate conditions that are put in place to protect the taxpayer.

"It is the borrower who decides whether and when to proceed with drawing down the loan," NAMA said.

Mr Noonan's spokesman said NAMA has development financing to invest in property to maximise the return to taxpayers. "The actual decision to invest would be a commercial decision for NAMA," he said.

Irish Independent