Nama sold 90pc of loans to US private equity, UN claims

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Nama sold 90pc of loans to US private equity, UN claims

State’s bad bank has sold billions worth of loans to overseas investors


The Nama/NTMA offices in Dublin, Since it was established a decade ago, Nama has acquired loans and assets worth more than €31.8bn.
The Nama/NTMA offices in Dublin, Since it was established a decade ago, Nama has acquired loans and assets worth more than €31.8bn.

Over 90pc of all loans sold by the National Asset Management Agency (Nama) have gone to international funds – the vast majority in the US – the United Nations has claimed.

The figure was included in a letter highly critical of government policies it says have allowed “unprecedented” amounts of global capital into Ireland’s housing market.

The UN stated that foreign investment and finance was brought into the country by the State through a number of measures, including the establishment of Nama in 2009 and the subsequent introduction of the Real Estate Investment Trust tax (Reits).

It also cited the sale of non-performing loans to investment funds by State-controlled banks as a factor.

“Of all assets sold by Nama, 93pc have gone to foreign investors, with 90pc being sold to US private-equity funds,” the UN said.

The letter was written by Surya Deva, the UN’s chief rapporteur of its working group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other businesses, as well as by the UN’s special rapporteur on adequate housing, Leilani Farha.

It follows a report from the UN during the week, which accused the Government of helping vulture funds push people out of their homes.

A spokesman for Nama said the loan sales represented less than a third of the bad bank’s total transactions.

“In relation to the sale of loans, the ownership of the properties does not change so these funds do not become property owners or landlords, just secured creditors,” the spokesman said.

He said as well as the €11bn worth of loans sold, Nama also sold €24bn worth of assets, the vast majority of which went to Irish entities.

A breakdown of Nama’s loan sales found that €10.23bn worth of loans were sold to overseas investors, €9.9bn of which went exclusively to US investors. Nama said that 69pc of its asset sales went to Irish companies, while 12pc went to the US.

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The remainder of the sales were to the UK, Germany, Canada, and others.

Since it was established a decade ago, Nama has acquired loans and assets worth more than €31.8bn. It expects to generate a surplus in the order of €3.5bn when it winds down, most likely in 2021.

Elsewhere in the letter, the UN criticised the “disproportionately higher and more severe” cuts made to the country’s public housing capital construction budget.

It dropped from €1.46bn in 2008 to €167m in 2014.

Sunday Indo Business

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