Ireland’s National Asset Management Agency, created in 2009 to cleanse the country’s banks of risky real-estate, raised 2.7 billion euros ($3.6 billion) from divestments through September, Finance Minister Michael Noonan said.
NAMA booked a gain of 132 million euros on the sales, reflecting profit on the disposal of loans and excess cash recovered on the sale of collateral, Noonan said in written answers to lawmakers’ questions dated March 22 and posted on the Irish Parliament’s website. NAMA doesn’t record profits when it sells properties unless the amount raised is more than the borrower’s total loans, Noonan said.
“Proceeds from the sale of assets includes the sale of property collateral related to loans acquired by NAMA and the sale of acquired loans to third parties,” Noonan said.
NAMA’s sales include 800 million euros of debt related to Maybourne Hotels Ltd., the London-based company that owns Claridge’s and the Connaught, to David and Frederick Barclay in September. One of the hotel company’s shareholders, Patrick McKillen, is suing the Barclays and their companies in a battle for control of the group, McKillen’s lawyer Philip Marshall said at a London High Court hearing on March 19.
The Dublin-based asset manager must sell 9 billion euros of property loans and real estate to meet a 7.5 billion-euro debt- repayment goal by the end of 2013, Chief Executive Officer Brendan McDonagh said in an October interview.
A spokesman for NAMA couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.
Irish home prices fell 2.2 percent in February from January, matching the biggest decline in almost three years, the country’s statistics office said today. Prices fell 17.8 percent from a year earlier. Home prices nationally have fallen 49 percent from their peak in 2007, with Dublin prices down 57 percent, according to the Cork-based agency.
“Excess supply in the market, credit restrictions, and, uncertainty about the economic outlook suggest Irish house prices have further to fall,” said Conall Mac Coille, chief economist at Dublin-based securities firm Davy. “Irish house prices will continue to decline, eventually to a peak-to-trough fall of 65 percent to 70 percent.”