Tuesday 25 October 2011

Agency will sell assets below price it paid in 'tactical' move to aid market

NAMA has revealed it would be prepared to sell a small number of assets below what it paid for them -- in a "tactical" attempt to get the property market moving.

However, the agency said reports that it would accept discounts of 10pc were "factually incorrect".

The agency was responding to a suggestion on a NAMA-related blog that it was prepared to live with a 10pc drop on the prices it paid banks for the assets.

The comments about a 10pc markdown were attributed to a senior NAMA executive, John Mulcahy.

But a spokesman for NAMA last night rejected the 10pc figure and said: "NAMA policy remains to sell assets at the best achievable return; our goal is to realise at least the price the agency paid for the underlying assets.

"If there is any exception to that policy, it will be a tactical decision in the interests of stimulating demand in a quiet market. It will certainly not be typical or widespread."

NAMA has about €30bn of assets made up of office space, retail, apartments, houses and undeveloped land in Ireland, the UK and Europe. Mulcahy was speaking to fund managers last week, briefing them on how the agency intends to repay the taxpayer over the next 10 years.

He said NAMA would continue to proceed on a case-by-case basis and was not currently planning to sell off whole loan books, just individual assets.

Meanwhile, NAMA is expected to pay off another €500m of debt before the end of the year, subject to board approval.

The agency is also currently trying to reverse transactions between NAMA developers and their wives and children. The NAMA Act 2009 does give the agency the power to reverse the transfers if the courts believe they were done to put assets beyond the reach of NAMA.

Emmet Oliver
Irish Independent


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