Banks await loan acquisition schedules
ANALYSIS:Nama has missed three deadlines as lenders and the agency struggle with complex valuations, writes SIMON CARSWELL
NOW THAT the European Commission has signed off on the National Asset Management Agency (Nama), the delayed task of transferring the top 10 developers and loans of €17 billion can proceed.
The green light from Brussels allows Nama to start buying loans with a face value of about €80 billion from five guaranteed lenders for an estimated €54 billion, though both figures could change.
Preparatory work has so far proceeded slowly with the amount of paperwork connected to the top borrowers creating a bottleneck of information within Nama that its small staff and army of outside contractors are busy trying to process.
Preliminary work has been slow as the lenders, and Nama, have struggled to deal with complex valuations in a market with no buyers, and grappled with tricky legal and financial due diligence on title and loan files, with dedicated teams of staff in each lender.
Nama has missed three deadlines to process the transfers, the most recent being yesterday.
March 5th has been set as the next deadline when the first transfers will begin, though not all of the loans connected to the top 10 will move on the day. Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan has said the top 10 borrowers will be transferred by the end of next month.
As revealed first by The Irish Times last week, they are developers Liam Carroll, Bernard McNamara, Seán Mulryan of Ballymore, property financier Derek Quinlan, Joe O’Reilly, the developer behind the Dundrum Shopping Centre in Dublin; Paddy McKillen, owner of the Jervis Street Shopping Centre in Dublin; Treasury Holdings (which is owned by Johnny Ronan and Richard Barrett); Cork developer Michael O’Flynn; Dublin builder Gerry Gannon, co-owner of the K Club golf resort in Co Kildare; and Galway businessman Gerry Barrett, owner of Ashford Castle in Co Mayo and G Hotel in Galway.
The financial institutions are awaiting acquisition schedules outlining the specific loans that Nama will acquire as well as the crucial “haircut” to be applied to each.
Once known, this will allow the banks to assess the losses to be incurred on the discounted sales, which will trigger a requirement for capital to meet the shortfall.
State-owned Anglo Irish Bank faces the most pressing capital need as it is moving the largest amount in the first wave – close to €10 billion of the €30-€35 billion it will eventually transfer.
Allied Irish Banks is moving more than €3 billion in the first wave, Bank of Ireland over €2 billion, Irish Nationwide just shy of €1 billion and EBS building society about €150 million.
The commission will assess the compatibility of the transferred loans as well as the actual transfer prices when they are passed on by the Government to Brussels. These reviews include mechanisms to allow for the clawback of money in case of overpayments.
The lenders are already preparing the paperwork for the second and third waves of transfers, though they have pressed Nama to reduce the level of information demanded by the agency.
Given the volume of paperwork and the scale of the sums involved, processing the top 10 borrowers will preoccupy Nama and the banks for most of next month.