Nama to put €2bn in loans on the market this week

The National Asset Management Agency will place some €2 billion in loans on the market this week.

Most of the borrowings, about €1.8 billion, are related to developer Michael O’Flynn and will represent the biggest portfolio to be sold by the agency to date.

Mr O’Flynn, among Nama’s 10 biggest debtors, has loans secured on properties in Ireland, the UK, Germany and Spain, with the Irish properties including Cork’s Elysian tower, the tallest building in the country. The sales process, which is being handled for Nama by investment bank UBS, is expected to attract interest from Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank and the private equity group Lone Star, among others.

The remainder of the €2 billion tranche of loans are borrowings linked to Brian O’Farrell, an auctioneer and developer based in north Dublin. Mr O’Farrell, founder of Malahide-based auctioneering firm O’Farrell Cleere, is one of the so-called “Maple 10” group of Irish investors who borrowed from Anglo Irish Bank in 2008 to buy shares in the bank.

Nama declined to comment on a report in the Sunday Business Post yesterday that the agency is examining a rapid disposal of its remaining €22 billion loan book, in a bid to take advantage of international demand for Irish assets.

A spokesman for the Department of Finance said there was no plan to run down Nama’s loan book ahead of its scheduled wind-down date of 2020, but that Minister for Finance Michael Noonan remained open to expressions of interest for large chunks of the loan book.

However, such offers must be “at the right price”, added the spokesman. “We’re not interested in fire sales.”

The department is conducting a “fairly substantial” review of Nama, under the terms of the legislation that set up the agency, while the Comptroller & Auditor General, the State’s spending watchdog, is also examining the agency’s future.