Northern Ireland

Hillsborough company property loans moved to Nama

Another Northern Ireland property business has confirmed that some of its bank loans have been moved into the Irish government's National Asset Management Agency (Nama).

The details are contained in the accounts of Eaglemount Properties, which is part of the Snoddons group.

Snoddons, which is based in Hillsborough, has interests in a number of major retail developments.

Nama buys and manages property loans which were made by Dublin-based banks.

It was set up by the Irish government in an attempt to save the country's ailing banking system.

The agency is sometimes referred to as a "bad bank" but it takes over "good" loans, which are being repaid, as well as bad loans.

The Eaglemount Properties accounts for 2011 state that the company's £5m loan with Bank of Ireland was transferred to Nama in 2011.

A note adds that the continuing operation of the company is dependent on the support of Nama.

Nama did not take over Bank of Ireland loans unless the borrower had an exposure of at least £20m, meaning that loans to other Snoddons companies will also have moved into the agency.

For example, a note in the accounts of Snoddons Blaris (NI), filed in March 2011, states that loans of £3.5m were "anticipated to be transferred into Nama post year end".

Snoddons was joint developer of the Sprucefield Park shopping development near Lisburn. The second phase of that development is due to be anchored by a John Lewis department store.

It is understood that loans relating to Sprucefield have not been moved into Nama.