Celtic Tiger purrs again as Finance Ireland seeks investors

Specialist lender looking to do more than €50m of commercial property lending

Cranes over Dublin during the boom: many are trying to get back into the commercial property racket these days. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Cranes over Dublin during the boom: many are trying to get back into the commercial property racket these days. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

 

It seems as though everybody is trying to get back into the commercial property racket these days. One company that has been keeping a keen eye on activity in the sector is specialist lender Finance Ireland, which believes it has spotted a gap in the market it intends to fill.

While perhaps best known for providing finance for film production and company cars, the group is now stepping into the breach to provide funding for owner-occupiers, professional landlords and SME owners who are looking to borrow sums of up to €5 million.

The company’s commercial mortgages MD Ken Murnaghan – who previously held management roles at Ulster Bank and AIB – is leading the march into the mid-level market, reasoning that there are plenty of borrowers out there in good shape looking for funding to resolve legacy issues, buy out the premises they operate from and so on.

It reckons that a wider pool of financial providers are needed in this space and, believing it is the best one to plug the gap, is busy adding to its team in anticipation of future success.

Finance Ireland, which recently became the first non-bank lender approved by the State-backed Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland, aims to do more than €50 million of commercial property lending this year. It has already reportedly closed a number of deals, and is attracting plenty of interest from other quarters.

Yet more proof that the Celtic Tiger is starting to purr again.