Nama investment in North will not ‘flood’ the local market, says chairman
Frank Daly says all of the agency’s northern assets are intended for sale
Nama chairman Frank Daly addresses the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce. Photograph: Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce/PA Wire
The National Asset Management Agency has money to invest in Northern Ireland but it will “not administer shock therapy” to the local market by “flooding it with supply”, its chairman has said in Belfast.
Frank Daly said Nama has to date been disappointed by the lack of investment projects put forward by its Northern Ireland-based debtors.
He said the agency was “willing to invest” where it was confident that it could get the investment back and more.
“We do not exist simply to sell off assets as they are and as quickly as we can. We are an asset management company,” Mr Daly told 200 business people at a briefing yesterday organised by the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce.
But Mr Daly added that ultimately all of its assets in the North – where its loan portfolio totals £3.35 billion (€4 billion) – are “intended for sale”.
Since the agency was established, Nama debtors have sold £106 million (€125 million) of property in the North.
But the Nama chairman also stressed that it would not engage in “flooding” the market when it makes “no sense”.
“Sometimes people get impatient with measured approaches and I get the feeling that there is a minority view in Northern Ireland, as indeed there is in the Republic, that Nama should administer some shock therapy to the market by flooding it with supply – the hope perhaps being that such radical treatment will somehow accelerate its recovery,” Mr Daly stated.
Just last month the North’s First Minister said the creation of Nama and its implications for Northern Ireland had been “far reaching”.
Peter Robinson said “holding on to assets to realise their value in their long term” in his opinion did little to boost the Northern economy.
In Belfast yesterday Mr Daly reminded his audience that “the single point” most often made to Nama was that any potential asset fire sale in the North would be very damaging to both the local property market and the economy.