Ipav calls for Nama loans rethink

Auctioneers have reiterated their call on Finance Minister Michael Noonan to rethink the sale of Nama assets, saying it is time to scrap the sale of the €7.2bn Project Arrow loans, the largest auction by the agency to date.

Pat Davitt, chief executive of the Ipav, the Institute of Professional Auctioneers and Valuers, said the minister should instead scrutinise the loans and properties to investigate whether Irish investors could purchase the loans, rather than being sold to foreign funds.

IPAV believes the Project Arrow portfolio is not only the biggest sale, but likely to contain the largest amount of residential property loans.

“The minister should exercise his powers under Nama legislation, as he did in the case of the liquidation of IBRC in February 2013, to make the majority of the 2,400 properties within the €7.2bn portfolio, available to Irish citizens.

"It is estimated that about 50% of the portfolio is residential,” he said.

“In the midst of a housing crisis with a lack of supply of properties Nama should be prevented from pursuing a policy of exclusivity with international funds.”

Mr Davitt said it no longer made sense to sell such portfolios to foreign funds.

Breaking up the portfolios into smaller lots may in time be more beneficial.

CoStar Finance, a European property website, reported earlier this month that Goldman Sachs and CarVal Investors had withdrawn from the bidding process for Project Arrow.

And The Sunday Times reported that Apollo Global Management may also be considering exiting the auction, leaving US fund Cerberus as the last remaining bidder.


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