Nama 'road-testing' European loan model


THE NATIONAL Asset Management Agency (Nama) is seen as “road-testing” a European flagship model to address long-term problem property loans, according to the chief investment officer of London-based wealth management firm Sarasin Partners.

Guy Monson, managing partner of Sarasin, which is part of Dutch group Rabobank and has £8.6 billion in assets under management, said Nama was like “a laboratory” for other euro countries. “People are looking to see if an economy as flexible as Ireland can manage to make these challenges,” he said.

Mr Monson, who was in Dublin addressing private investors, said that allowing the banks swap Government Nama bonds for cash at the European Central Bank was “cutting edge”.

“I think the model is brave and bold, and there are a lot of people in the international community who would like to see it succeed.”

He said this was why investors had responded favourably to Irish Government debt issuances.

The budgetary measures by the Government were also a guide for other euro members. “The toughness of the medicine that Ireland is prepared to contemplate is actually inspirational to many across the region.”

He said investors concentrating all risk in home markets was “an expensive luxury”. He advises investors to diversify into the top 50 global companies, which he dubs the “Nifty 50”, such as Intel and Novartis, as they have worldwide reach and strong credit ratings, are valued cheaply, and have shown strong equity growth rates.