Ireland Bad Bank Said to Plan $4.4 Billion Real Estate Loan Sale

Ireland’s National Asset Management Agency plans to sell real estate loans with a face value of about 4 billion euros ($4.4 billion), two people with knowledge of the matter said.

NAMA is expected to seek bids for the portfolio, known as Project Gem, toward the end of 2016 and the portfolio will sell at a substantial discount to its par value, 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 NAMA up in 2009 to take on 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 Oaktree Capital Group LLC as the preferred bidder for loans with a face value of 4.7 billion euros, a person familiar with the matter said at the time.

NAMA held loans valued at 7.8 billion euros at the end of last year compared with 13.4 billion euros at the end of 2014, according to the firm’s annual report.

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