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CEO: Nama makes 'enormous progress'

Toxic assets agency Nama has claimed it is making huge progress despite overall losses last year of almost 1.2 billion euro.

The state's 'bad bank' had an operating profit of 305 million euro during 2010, but it blamed the overall losses on so-called impairment charges. This is where a company writes down the value of certain assets believed to be overvalued.

But the agency said those losses - estimated at around 1.5 billion euro - will not necessarily materialise.

Brendan McDonagh, chief executive of Nama, said: "We've made enormous progress on a wide range of fronts over the past 15 months and we're ahead of schedule in respect of many areas. Our expectation now is that the pace of activity will step up again in the months ahead as we move through the implementation phase of our work."

In its first annual report, Nama revealed three of its 850 debtors have loans totalling more than 2 billion euro each. Another 12 have loans of more than one billion euro each.

Nama said it has already repaid the taxpayer 1 billion euro to the end of June this year. It made an operating profit of 91 million euro in the first three months of 2011. Nama took over 11,500 toxic loans last year, then valued at 71.2 billion euro, and paid 30.2 billion euro for them - a discount of 58%.

It is estimated that just over 60% of the properties secured by the loans are based in the Republic, around a third in the UK and Northern Ireland and 7% in the rest of the world.

Details of almost 850 properties seized by the agency have been published on its website for the first time. They include hotels, golf courses, pubs and even a privately-run airport. Mr McDonagh said the majority of them are on the market and that they are working with the debtors to get the remainder up for sale.

The Nama chief said it is also working on a deal with banks to help first-time buyers on to the property ladder later this year. Under the scheme, buyers would have to secure a mortgage from a lender to purchase an apartment or house seized by Nama and the agency would in turn agree to defer taking 20% of its value.

If the property rose in value over the following five years, then Nama would be owed its discount. But if the market remained frozen or prices dropped further, the buyers wouldn't have to stump up the extra money. The scheme aims to reduce the threat of negative equity, so as to help shift properties and boost the housing market.

Press Association


From Belfast Telegraph