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A UK investment firm has signed a deal to buy 17pc of a holding company designed to facilitate private investment in NAMA.

A company owned by the partners of UK-based investment firm Walbrook Capital will buy the stake in the "special purpose vehicle" set up in 2010 to bring private investors into NAMA headed by Frank Daly (right).

The sale of a 17pc stake in the vehicle that controls NAMA is good news for the Government because it means debts of €28bn owned by the agency to bailed-out banks will not now be included in official European calculations of the national debt.

The NAMAIL shareholding had previously been held by Irish Life.