Seen & Heard: Lone Star looks at sale of Irish loans book
US fund signals potential sale of book of Irish home loans bought from Irish Nationwide
The Sunday Independent leads with a story about 60,000 householders who will be brought into the property tax system for the first time under Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy’s planned overhaul
US fund Lone Star is said to be eyeing the sale of its book of Irish home loans bought from Irish Nationwide in the wake of the financial crisis. According to the Sunday Business Post, the Texas-based fund, one of the main purchasers of distressed loans in Ireland, told bondholders last week that it was “considering carrying out a portfolio sale in relation to the entire portfolio”.
Lone Start partly refinanced more than €500 million of these loans in 2016 by packaging the mortgages up and selling bonds secured on them to investors. It is now planning a sale of the entire portfolio with the proceeds than used to pay off these bonds by the end of March.
The book acquired by Lone Star was heavily in arrears, with two-thirds classed as non-performing. The loans are serviced by Pepper, and a small number are mortgages held by customers in the North and Britain.
The Quinn fightback
The Sunday Business Post leads with a story about Sean Quinn’s fightback from bankruptcy. In an exclusive interview, the businessman, once Ireland’s richest man, talks about his new betting business QuinnBet, his ongoing battle with the former Anglo Irish Bank over alleged asset-stripping, and his hope of establishing a string of businesses in the manufacturing and hospitality sectors here. He also reveals that the former Anglo Irish Bank has raised queries about the funding of QuinnBet, noting the family had addressed these concerns and that he could give further information before the courts if required.
About 60,000 face new property tax bills
The Sunday Independent leads with a story about 60,000 householders who will be brought into the property tax system for the first time under Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy’s planned overhaul.
The new system will abolish exemptions for 60,000 homeowners who have avoided paying the tax since it was introduced five years ago. The revenue raised will in part prevent massive property tax hikes for the majority of households and also be used to fund a new system of allocating funds to local authorities based on the greatest need. Murphy plans to change how the centralised property tax income is allocated to local authorities to ensure a fairer distribution of the funding to city and county councils.
New hope over PTSB mortgages sale
Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe has signalled a planned loans sale by Permanent TSB may be broken into lots. Such a move would raise expectations that restructured mortgages could be sold to one of the pillar banks and not private equity, according to The Sunday Times. The Minister’s intervention comes as customers who have ignored mortgage arrears for many years are scrambling to reach last-minute settlements with Permanent TSB in the hope that this could halt the sale of their loans to so-called vulture funds.
Of the €3.7 billion worth of non-performing mortgages that the lender has earmarked for sale, €700 million is restructured debt and €2 billion is classed as “untreated”, mainly because the homeowners have refused to co-operate.