NI loans with Nama now stand at £3.35bn

Image caption,
Just under one-third of Nama's NI loan portfolio is located in Belfast.

Loans totalling £3.35bn, made to Northern Ireland developers have now been transferred to the Irish republic's "bad bank", Nama.

The loans from 180 individuals and companies represents five per cent of Nama's total loans.

Undeveloped land accounts for £2bn, investment properties £1bn and land and property under development, £350m.

60% of Nama's NI loans represent land that is not under development.

Twenty-nine per cent represent commercial investments, 10% land under development and 1% residential development.

Just under one-third of Nama's loan portfolio is located in Belfast.

Twenty-one percent in County Down, 19% in County Antrim, 8% in County Londonderry, 7% in County Tyrone, 7% in County Armagh, 4% in County Fermanagh and 2% in the city of Derry.

The figures were revealed by a senior Nama executive during a speech in Belfast.

Addressing delegates at a housing sector conference, Ronnie Hanna, head of risk and credit, said Nama would "assist in the stabilisation of the property market in Northern Ireland, by providing liquidity to the market and by being able to take a longer-term approach where necessary".

"Nama is part of the solution to the current difficulties in the Northern Ireland market," he said.

"Nama is not a toxic bank"

Mr Hanna told the conference that there were some misconceptions about Nama and its role.

"Nama is an asset management vehicle and, contrary to how it is portrayed in some quarters, it is not a 'toxic bank'.

"We have the capacity to take a longer-term view of the loans we take on, if it makes commercial sense, and our time frame is to manage and realise the loans and the property held as collateral for the loans over a seven to 10-year time period."

Mr Hanna also said that Nama's financial return from the loans it acquires must take account of the cost of acquiring the loan, Nama's associated costs and its cost of capital.

"Nama has a neutral view on all markets, including the Northern Ireland property market and we have no interest in hoarding assets longer than necessary.

"We will work with debtors if it makes commercial sense, but debtors must submit a business plan which includes a realistic repayment schedule and we require full co-operation and full disclosure from debtors. Debtor co-operation and capability is key," he added.

Nama was established by the Irish government to acquire and manage loans from five participating Irish banks which are linked to land and development.

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