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Finance Minister Michael McGrath Leah Farrell via RollingNews.ie
hit a limit

‘Limited’ opportunity for Nama to build more affordable homes, says McGrath

The National Asset Management Agency is projected to return at least 4.9 billion euros to the Exchequer by the end of its wind down next year.

THERE IS ONLY a “limited” opportunity for Nama to deliver any more affordable homes, the Finance Minister has said.

The National Asset Management Agency (Nama) is projected to return at least €4.9 billion to the Exchequer by the end of its wind down next year, according to Minister Michael McGrath.

So far, the agency has transferred a total of €4.25 billion to the Exchequer, made up of €3.85 billion from its lifetime surplus and more than €400 million in corporation tax payments.

In a statement today, McGrath said Nama, which was set up by the Irish government in 2009 after the financial crash, had been “very effective” in managing its loan portfolio and maximising value of its assets.

He said it had consistently generated profits over a 13-year period.

McGrath said: “This strong commercial performance has exceeded expectations and Nama’s success has been augmented by the agency’s considerable achievements in relation to its supplemental objectives.

Nama has facilitated the delivery of housing at significant scale – 34,000 new homes were funded or enabled by Nama by end-2023.

“Moreover, Nama made a major and long-lasting contribution to the regeneration of Dublin Docklands through the delivery of extensive new commercial and residential space.”

Asked about the agency’s capacity to deliver more affordable housing during its remaining operations, the minister said it would be “limited”.

He said Nama has a defined statutory mandate to maximise return while also contributing to other State objectives.

McGrath said it would continue to look for opportunities to build more homes in its remaining portfolio.

However, he added: “Given that their overall portfolio is only about 1% of what it was at the peak – about €450 million – I think the further capacity to build more homes will be limited.”

Time to say goodbye

Meanwhile, the minister provided an update on the special liquidation of the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC), which was formed after Anglo Irish Bank was taken into State ownership.

He said the IBRC loan portfolio had a par value of €21 billion, consisting of more than 15,000 borrower groups and was supported by collateral based in 22 different jurisdictions worldwide.

In September last year, the remaining loan book had a par value of €3.6 billion.

The State had received approximately €1.7 billion from the special liquidation in respect of its unsecured creditor claims, interest on these claims, and its holding of the preference shares in the bank.

Any remaining funds left in the liquidation once all remaining tasks are completed will be returned to the State as the owner of the equity in the former bank.

The first surplus transfer of €35 million took place in December 2023.

McGrath said it is now “timely” to make arrangements for Nama and the special liquidation of the IBRC to conclude their work.

The liquidation of the IBRC is expected to “substantially conclude” by the end of this year, according to the minister.

Remaining activity and assets will then be transferred to Nama, which itself is taking steps to wind down by the end of 2025.

A “resolution unit” has been established to manage likely “residual activity” from both entities after that deadline.

It will be resourced by the National Treasury Management Agency.

Nama Chief Executive Brendan McDonagh said “This review comprehensively outlines NAMA’s success in profitably deleveraging its portfolio while making a considerable contribution to commercial and residential delivery in Ireland. 

“We are delighted that the Minister for Finance and the Government have entrusted us with additional responsibilities to manage the residual assets and liabilities of IBRC in 2025.”

With reporting by the Press Association

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