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Written Answers - National Asset Management Agency

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 760 No. 3

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 140.  Deputy Michael McGrath Information on Michael McGrath Zoom on Michael McGrath  asked the Minister for Finance Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan  the amount of cash reserves currently held by the National Assets Management Agency; the nature of the account in which the money is deposited; the rate of return being earned; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16615/12]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan I am advised by NAMA that it currently holds cash balances of €4.3 billion. NAMA have advised me that cash is either placed on deposit with approved counterparties or the Central Bank or it is invested in Qualifying Liquid Assets (Short-term Irish Government securities). It is necessary for NAMA to invest in highly liquid, lower risk and therefore lower yielding assets as NAMA must ensure that it has available liquidity over the medium term to meet all of its contractual obligations as they fall due. Such obligations include its day-to-day operating costs, coupon payments due on its bonds and derivative contract payments. It also includes advances for project funding to ensure that the assets underlying the NAMA project have the best chance of achieving the best return for the taxpayer. In addition, NAMA has set itself the target of repaying €7.5 billion of its Senior Notes by the end of 2013.

The rate of return on cash held in whatever form during the first quarter of 2012 was 1.1%. However, this should be viewed against a background of a reduction in Euro interest rates and in the context of NAMA’s pressing need to manage its liquidity in line with the short term and medium term demands placed on NAMA as outlined above.

 141.  Deputy Michael McGrath Information on Michael McGrath Zoom on Michael McGrath  asked the Minister for Finance Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan  if he will provide details of the number of inquiries and formal applications made to National Asset Management Agency by debtors and tenants for a rent reduction prior to the issuing by NAMA of the Guidance Note on Upward Only Commercial Leases on 6 December 2011; the number of such applications which ultimately resulted in NAMA approving a rent reduction; the number which were refused by NAMA; and the number still under consideration by the agency. [16621/12]

 142.  Deputy Michael McGrath Information on Michael McGrath Zoom on Michael McGrath  asked the Minister for Finance Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan  if he will provide details of the number of inquiries and formal applications made to National Asset Management Agency by debtors and tenants for a rent reduction since the issuing by NAMA of the Guidance Note on Upward Only Commercial Leases on 6 December 2011; the number of such applications which ultimately resulted in NAMA approving a rent reduction; the number which were refused by NAMA; and the number still under consideration by the agency. [16622/12]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan I propose to take Questions Nos. 141 and 142 together.

NAMA issued a Guidance Note on Upward Only Commercial Leases on 6 December 2011. The Guidance Note was intended to deal with situations where tenants of NAMA debtors could show that the rents they were paying were in excess of current market levels and, as a result, the viability of their businesses was threatened. In such circumstances, tenants were given an opportunity to seek NAMA’s approval for rent reductions.

NAMA points out that, prior to issuing the guidance note; it had received and approved a substantial number of applications for rent abatements which it had processed on an informal basis. I am advised by NAMA that, in 2011 prior to the issuing of the Guidance Note, it received 114 direct applications for rent abatement. NAMA states that 113 of these applications were approved and one was refused.

[753]I am further advised that, since 6 December 2011, NAMA has received 40 applications for rent abatements under the terms of the Guidance Note. Five of these applications were approved. Another two were ineligible as they related to properties which are not held as security by NAMA. As regards the remaining 33 cases, the applications are currently under review. In the majority of these cases, NAMA has, as per the Guidance Note, facilitated direct discussion between the landlord and the tenant and is awaiting the outcome of these discussions. In some of the cases, it is awaiting receipt of additional information from tenants. On receipt of the necessary information by NAMA, I am advised that the average turnaround time for decisions in respect of applications is six days and that the Agency works to a turnaround target of seven days.

 143.  Deputy Seán Crowe Information on Sean Crowe Zoom on Sean Crowe  asked the Minister for Finance Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan  if he will provide a detailed list of the assets and holdings of companies (details supplied) that are assets in loans transferred to the National Assets Management Agency [16632/12]

 144.  Deputy Seán Crowe Information on Sean Crowe Zoom on Sean Crowe  asked the Minister for Finance Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan  if he will provide a detailed list of the assets and holdings of County Mayo based construction companies that are assets in loans transferred to the National Assets Management Agency. [16633/12]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan I propose to take Questions Nos. 143 and 144 together.

Properties under the control of receivers or other insolvency professionals appointed by NAMA are listed on its website at http://www.nama.ie/PropertiesEnforced.php. The site includes properties located in Mayo, including Castlebar and Mulranny. This list is searchable by region and is updated on a monthly basis. Where relevant, information about the firm dealing with the insolvency and its contact details are provided. Potential purchasers are encouraged to contact the receivers to obtain additional information on specific properties and to submit expressions of their interest to purchase.

In the case of property under the control of debtors, NAMA is precluded, under Section 202 of the NAMA Act 2009, from disclosing confidential information. Confidential information is specifically defined to include information relating to debtors. Furthermore, Section 99 of the Act provides that, on acquisition of a loan, NAMA takes over the obligations of the participating institution under the loan, one of which is the contractual duty of confidentiality which the debtor enjoyed while still a customer of the participating institution. Information about individual debtors or guarantors is also protected against disclosure by the Data Protection Acts with which NAMA must comply as a data controller.

However, in cases where NAMA receives enquiries from potential purchasers about specific properties under the control of debtors, it can facilitate contact with a view to enabling sales transactions to take place.


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