Nama will return €2bn to exchequer, Dáil committee told

Chairman Frank Daly says agency’s remit mostly commercial

 National Asset Management Agency chairman Frank Daly  arrives for the Oireachtas Committee on Housing and Homelessness  meeting at Leinster House on Kildare Street, Dublin. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

National Asset Management Agency chairman Frank Daly arrives for the Oireachtas Committee on Housing and Homelessness meeting at Leinster House on Kildare Street, Dublin. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

 

The National Asset Management Agency will eventually yield a surplus of more than €2 billion to the exchequer, its chairman Frank Daly has said.

Mr Daly said while the legislation setting up Nama had referred to a social dividend, it was clear the main purpose was its contribution to dealing with the State’s economic difficulties.

“Quite obviously it is a matter for government at the time to decide what they do with that,’’ he told the Oireachtas Committee on Housing and Homelessness.

“Nama has a commercial remit and its objective must be get the best financial return for the State,’’ he added.

One of the issues driving Nama, he said, was its belief that the debt, whether it be the €32 billion it started off with or the €7 billion senior debt which was there now, represented a contingent liability on the State.

This impacted in the greater sense on the State’s standing in the markets and its capacity to borrow, he added.

Addressing the Oireachtas Committee on Thursday, Mr Daly said repaying the debt was Nama’s top priority. Paying it back as quickly as it could was the biggest social dividend it could deliver, he added.

Mr Daly said senior debt would be paid back by 2018 and subordinated debt by 2020.