Belfast Telegraph

Nama acquires £3.3bn in assets

Around £3.3 billion of Northern Ireland assets have been acquired by Nama, the deputy First Minister has said.

Nama (National Assets Management Agency) was set up to rescue the ailing Irish banks by buying at a discount all their major property loans.

Sinn Fein Mid-Ulster MLA Martin McGuinness was briefing the Stormont Assembly about this month's North/South Ministerial Council meeting in Armagh.

He said: "During the meeting we discussed a range of common challenges and shared views on the economy, the banks and Nama. It was noted that some £3.35 billion of Northern Ireland assets have now been acquired by Nama.

"The constraints on budgets in both jurisdictions were recognised and we welcomed the ongoing discussions between the two finance ministers to identify potential cost savings through co-operation and sharing."

Nama is taking control of practically all property development loans made by the Dublin-based banks. It is creating a "bad bank" to remove toxic assets from the banking system.

It is part of the Irish government's plan to revive the near-collapsed banking industry.

Northern Ireland Finance Minister Sammy Wilson has been urging his Irish counterpart Brian Lenihan to ensure there is no "fire sale" of Northern Ireland assets which could flood the property market.

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