Belfast Telegraph

'Bad bank' Nama boss is optimistic about property market

By Clare Weir

The commercial and residential property markets in the Republic could be stabilising, according to the chairman of Ireland's 'bad bank' NAMA.

Frank Daly from the National Asset Management Agency, which began taking over property development loans from collapsing Irish banks almost three years ago, said that the body has taken in approximately €6.9bn (£5.6bn) from property sales and €3.6bn (£2.9bn) in rent from properties controlled by debtors and receivers to date.

An end-of-year update revealed that the agency also took in a total of €4.4bn (£3.6bn) during 2012.

This included €1.3bn (£1bn) that was related to rent and other non-property disposal sources.

In three years, sales transactions have been completed in relation to more than 3,900 properties and a further €1.5bn (£1.2bn) worth of property is on the market either through debtors or receivers.

The agency made a net profit after tax in the six months to the end of June 2012 of €222m (£180m).

Mr Daly said that the agency was on target to complete its mission in seven years' time.

"Performance on a number of key targets during the year, in conjunction with growing indications that the Irish commercial and residential markets are stabilising, reinforces our confidence that we will achieve our ultimate objective of completing our work by 2020," he said.

Chief executive, Brendan Mc Donagh added: "The generation of €10.5bn (£8.5bn) in cash in the 33 months since the first loans transferred to NAMA reflects a strong performance in terms of asset disposals.

"It also shows the importance for NAMA of capturing the rental income from assets under the control of debtors."

Nama, was also involved in a number of high-profile court challenges recently, involving Treasury Holdings, the Maybourne Hotel Group and Holtglen Limited.