Nama to hand over €1bn to Exchequer later this year

State’s ‘bad bank’ exceeded cash generation target

Brendan McDonagh is CEO of NAMA. PHOTO: Tom Burke

John Mulligan

NAMA will transfer €1bn to the Exchequer this year, after the State-owned bad bank generated €900m of cash in 2020. It said that cash generation exceeded its target for the year.

The transfer this year comes on top of €2bn that was handed over to the State’s coffers by Nama last year. Another €1bn will be transferred next year, subject to market conditions.

Nama chief executive Brendan McDonagh said 2020 had brought many “unexpected challenges”, but that the agency is continuing to work towards strategic objectives, including construction at the Dublin Docklands strategic development zone.

Last month, Nama finalised a partnership with Johnny Ronan and Oaktree for the development of the former Irish Glass site, and an adjacent plot, in Dublin’s Ringsend.

That saw Mr Ronan and Oaktree secure an 80pc interest in a vehicle behind the sites for about €200m. Nama retains a 20pc interest in the entity, called Pembroke Ventures.

Nama said the Poolbeg strategic development zone has the potential to deliver 3,500 residential units and one million square feet of commercial space. It will also include a school, cultural, community and public open space.

The bad bank said yesterday that more than €46bn in cash has been generated since the agency was created in 2009, primarily through asset and loan sales.

Nama was set up to take on more than €70bn of soured loans from Irish banks at a deep discount as the financial crisis gripped Ireland.

Last year, it paid off the last part of the €31.8bn in debt it took on to fund its share of the bank bailout, with a final €1.06bn in junior debt having been redeemed.

The agency also acquired the 51pc of shares that were held in the National Asset Management Investment Agency for €56.1m, leaving Nama debt free and 100pc owned by the Minister for Finance.

“Notwithstanding the difficulties brought about by Covid-19, we redeemed the last of the remaining subordinated debt and our private equity obligations and were therefore in a position to complete the first payment of €2bn from our lifetime surplus to the Exchequer,” said Nama chairman Aidan Williams.

He said the payment had “materially reduced” the level of Government borrowing required during the pandemic.

Nama said that while the Covid crisis had resulted in delays to construction projects across all sectors, it has continued to work with its debtors and receivers to fund and facilitate housing units across Nama-secured sites where it was commercially viable.

Since 2014, the agency said its residential delivery programme has completed 12,450 units. An additional 6,550 units have been delivered on former Nama-secured sites that benefited from Nama asset management and, or funding, it said.

Nama said it has now delivered 2,614 residential units from its secured portfolio to local authorities or approved housing bodies for social housing.

It added that has more than 25,000 units in its current residential development pipeline, including 6,400 construction-ready properties that are currently being built or have planning permission.

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