NAMA Chairman‘Some were saying NAMA was going to make a €10 billion loss. We’re going to make a €3 billion surplus. So they were only €13 billion out.’

As heard on Today with Sean O'Rourke

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There are very few people in the country who do not have an opinion on NAMA, the National Asset Management Agency, Ireland’s “bad bank”, founded in 2009 in the wake of the financial and property crash.

Amongst the people who have voiced strong opinions of late are the Comptroller and Auditor General, politicians of several hues, and recently, in the Sunday Business Post, economist Jim Power, who examined some of the Agency’s less than profitable transactions.

The points and criticisms made by all of those people were put to NAMA chairman, Frank Daly, as he joined Sean O’Rourke in the Today studio. Amongst other things, Sean queried about how the agency will engage with the Commission of Investigation into the sale of Project Eagle, its Northern Ireland portfolio.

“We will go in, we will make our arguments, we will set out our position, give our analysis, reintroduce the expert evidence that we gave the C&AG and the Public Accounts Committee…. We look forward to engaging with this commission. And be assured, we will give them every co-operation.”

Today, NAMA releases its seventh annual report, this one covering 2016, and its aim over the coming years will be to wind down its operations down.

“Today is reporting that we had a €1.5 billion profit in 2016, reporting that we will deliver a €3 billion surplus at the end of our life. Then we just have half a billion debt to pay, which we will do this year.”

The agency, he says, will have about €4 billion in its portfolio which it will have to work out over the next year or two. “That’s the €4 billion at the end of the portfolio, so it is by definition challenging,” Frank Daly said. “When is the shop going to shut?”  asked presenter, Sean O’Rourke.

“We are within sight of the end. Remember, it’s not too long ago that some commentators were saying that NAMA was going to make a €10 billion loss. We are going to make a €3 billion surplus. So they were only €13 billion out.”

To listen to the full interview with Frank Daly, chairman of NAMA, click here.




© The Listener 2017

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