Belfast Telegraph

Latest deal is evidence of exiting downturn

By Ross Davidson

The marketing of this major property loan book by Ulster Bank is the latest step by the bank, and its parent, Royal Bank of Scotland, to reduce its property exposure as the bank continues to emerge from the recent financial downturn.

Ulster Bank has already successfully sold off debts attached to property in Northern Ireland and elsewhere but not to date on this scale.

As with previous loan book sales, this portfolio is likely to attract significant interest from major international property investors.

The portfolio contains loans secured against a broad range of property types.

Significantly, over 25% in value terms of the loans within this portfolio are secured on properties in Northern Ireland including some very significant developments such as the recently constructed Arc Apartments and Gateway Offices at Titanic Quarter and Ards Shopping Centre.

Whilst it should be remembered that what is being sold off here by Ulster Bank are the loans attaching to the properties, rather than the properties themselves, this represents another major deal in our local property market, second only in value terms to the recent sale of Nama's Northern Ireland loan book to the New York fund, Cerberus.

Ross Davidson is a lawyer and principal at RW Davidson, which specialises in commercial property law

Belfast Telegraph