The state has been given the thumbs up to develop the €350m Opera Centre shopping mall in Limerick. The state owns half of the development, through nationalised Anglo Irish Bank, with the remainder owned by developers Jerry O'Reilly, David Courtney and Terry Sweeney.
An Bord Pleanála approved the scheme, subject to 17 conditions, despite its inspector's recommendation to refuse it. The centre will be the largest in the Midwest when it's completed.
Anglo acquired its stake in the venture in 2007 and planned to syndicate it to private clients but failed to do so.
The Sunday Tribune has also learned that the state has a 90% interest in the €110m South King Street retail opposite St Stephen's Green shopping centre in Dublin. The stake was acquired by Anglo Irish Bank with a view to syndicating it to private clients but it is understood that it failed to do so, leaving the state with stakes in two office schemes in London, a shopping centre in Liverpool and a redevelopment property in Surrey.
It was previously reported that the state has a stake in Arnotts after Anglo again failed to syndicate its stake in the retailer. Banks earned large fees from the syndication of properties to private clients during boom years.