Dublin Docklands to benefit from NAMA investment

Updated: Friday, 22 Feb 2013 08:08

The National Asset Management Agency said it plans to develop significant additional office space within the Dublin Central Business District, with emphasis on the Docklands area.

NAMA said this is in response to the ongoing expansion of the financial services sector and the development of new business and technology hubs.

This is part of the agency's €2bn investment programme in response to emerging foreign direct investment demand in key markets.

NAMA chairman Frank Daly told the Association of European Journalists in Dublin that the agency is also evaluating residential projects where demand exists in Dublin and in other major growth centres nationwide.

Speaking on RTÉ's News at One, Mr Daly said the outlook for Ireland is a lot more positive in general than would have been expected a number of years ago.

He said there is a lot of investor interest in Irish assets, as well as the property sector.

In terms of targets, Mr Daly said NAMA is currently on track.

The NAMA chairman spoke about the growing interest and optimism in the Irish property market.

He said it is unclear as to who is leading the property market in Ireland and as a country it needs to reflect upon this.

Mr Daly said NAMA's residential mortgage 80:20 scheme is progressing well and the agency is looking to increase the number of properties being added to the scheme in the near future.

He said the recovery of the property market is a slow process.

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This afternoon, he went on to tell the Association of European Journalists that NAMA holds security over a "considerable number of properties and lands on both sides of the River Liffey".

He said the agency is assessing the commercial feasibility of a wide range of projects, including those in the undeveloped part of the north Docklands.

The NAMA chairman also told journalists that there may be a need for "an entity at a national level to take a central, co-ordinating, policy development role in relation to the residential property market".

"One of the legacies of the boom is the regional mismatch between housing supply and demand. Some parts of Ireland will be attempting to absorb excess supply for a long time to come, whereas others are already showing signs of supply shortages, particularly parts of Dublin and some other cities," he stated.

Mr Daly said that the decision to appoint special liquidators to IBRC would "significantly increase" the agency's workload, as it acquires the unsold IBRC loan book later this year.

He said that depending on the scale of the loan transfers, the size of NAMA's balance sheet could increase by almost 50%.

"The prospective acquisition of the residual IBRC portfolio represents a major challenge for NAMA. As with our original portfolio, we will be guided in that challenge by our primary commercial objective, which is to obtain the best achievable return for the Irish taxpayer," Mr Daly stated.

He noted that loans to current or former employees or directors of IBRC will not be transferred to NAMA.

Mr Daly said NAMA has already put a credit facility of €1bn in place to the special liquidators to meet their ongoing funding requirements.

The NAMA chairman told today's gathering that there are many more reasons to be positive about the outlook for Ireland, "although we seem to be more reticent about recognising this than do others".

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