Friday 24 November 2017

Nama to hit bond repayment goal nine months ahead of target

Frank Daly. Photo: PA
Frank Daly. Photo: PA
Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

The National Asset Management Agency (Nama) says it will hit its senior debt repayment target nine months ahead of schedule.

The debt was issued to banks by Nama in exchange for loans in the wake of the crash.

The bad bank announced yesterday that it would pay back another €2.5bn tomorrow, its first repayment of the year.

This will bring to €24.6bn the amount of senior debt the agency has repaid so far, equating to about 81pc of the €30.2bn of senior debt originally issued in 2010 and 2011 to buy loans from the banks.

Nama was due to have repaid 80pc of its senior debt by the end of this year.

The agency said it is on course to redeem all of it by the end of 2018.

Chief executive Brendan McDonagh described it as a major achievement made possible by the strong cash flow generated through the agency's asset sales.

"We remain on course to eliminate this contingent liability in full by 2018 and, through our strategic programmes of disposals and investment, to deliver an overall surplus of €2bn for Irish taxpayers once we are finished our work," Mr McDonagh said.

Nama chairman Frank Daly said the agency had reached the "milestone" three years ahead of its original target.

"This clearly reflects the enormous progress that Nama has made since its first loan acquisition, which was six years ago this month," he said.

The update comes as the agency has been asked by Finance Minister Michael Noonan to bring land to the market more quickly in order to stop developers from hoarding sites.

Mr Noonan is concerned that the State's bad bank could be encouraging a trend of holding onto land in the anticipation of price increases.

And he said that hoarding distorted the value of development land that could otherwise be used to ease the mounting housing crisis.

Last month it emerged that Nama was set to sign off on a plan with three developers that could see thousands of homes built in south Dublin.

By most estimates, Dublin needs about 25,000 homes per year in order to meet demand. However barely half that figure is being delivered at present.

Construction has slowed in recent months, with developers blaming the high cost of construction and the uncertainty created by the Central Bank's tough rules which restrict mortgage levels and cap home loans according to income.

Irish Independent

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