Irish Bad Bank Said to Plan $6.4 Billion Real Estate Loan Sales

Ireland’s National Asset Management Agency plans to sell two portfolios of property loans with a face value of 6 billion euros ($6.4 billion) as it winds down its stock of risky commercial real estate debt, three people with knowledge of the matter said.

The loans will be split into two groups of 3 billion euros each and will be sold at a discount, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans are private. A spokesman for NAMA declined to comment.

The Irish government set up NAMA in 2009 to take over 74 billion euros of commercial real estate loans held by Ireland’s banks and sell them over as many as 10 years. Last month, it chose a unit of Cerberus Capital Management LP as the preferred bidder for Project Arrow, a portfolio of debt with a face value of 6.3 billion euros. That sale is NAMA’s largest by face value to date.

European banks continue to pare down their property loan books to repair balance sheets damaged when values crashed and borrowers defaulted during the financial crisis. Sales of real estate debt and foreclosed assets totaled 44.6 billion euros in the first nine months of the year.

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