Ireland’s National Asset Management Agency saw its first-half earnings quadruple as the state-owned bad bank began to free up money set aside to cover bad loans.
NAMA’s profit was on a par with the 458 million euros ($505 million) earned in the whole of 2014, Chief Executive Officer Brendan McDonagh said in an interview in Dublin on Wednesday. Profit amounted to 102 million euros in the first half of 2014.
NAMA will review its current 1 billion-euro lifetime profit target at the end of the year, he said. In the first half, the agency freed up 25 million euros of impairment provisions, McDonagh said. The agency had set aside about 4.3 billion euros of provisions for bad loans over the past five years.
“The days of big impairment charges are hopefully behind us,” he said.
The agency is on track this year to redeem 5.5 billion euros of senior state-guaranteed bonds it originally issued to banks as payment for toxic loans, McDonagh said. This will mean that 73 percent of the notes will be repurchased by the end of the year.
Bond redemptions will be helped as NAMA sells further assets. These include a portfolio of mainly non-performing loans with a nominal value of 7.6 billion euros, known as Project Arrow, which the agency expects to divest this year.
NAMA has received 10 bids for Project Jewel, a portfolio of loans linked to Irish shopping malls including the Dundrum Town Centre in Dublin, McDonagh said. The sale may raise 1.7 billion euros, the Sunday Times reported on July 26.