Belfast Telegraph

No Nama fire sale of assets in province, says Irish finance minister

Finance Minister Sammy Wilson has sought assurance from his counterpart in the Republic, Brian Lenihan, that there will be no fire sale of Northern Ireland assets by Nama.

The ministers met after a period of upheaval for the Republic's economy and after governments north and south presented austerity budgets.

In the meeting yesterday, Mr Wilson raised Nama's operations in Northern Ireland - the day after it emerged the development of Hilden Mill in Lisburn was in doubt as developers' loans worth £45m were acquired by Nama.

Mr Wilson said: "Mr Lenihan had previously assured me there would be no 'fire sale' of Northern Ireland based assets.

"Mr Lenihan confirmed it was his view that such a move would be in no-one's best interests and confirmed there would be no fire sale."

The DUP MP said he also asked for confirmation that Northern Ireland's fragile recovery would not be jeopardised by any restructuring of the Republic's banks.

"I impressed on him the importance of not relocating jobs from Northern Ireland and ensuring that Irish-owned banks were encouraged to lend to businesses and consumers here."