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National Asset Management Agency Holding Hundreds Of UK Properties

by Jim ONeil on August 2, 2011

in Personal Finance News

Nama, the National Asset Management Agency, was created by the Irish government to manage the troubled property loans of banks. The agency recently revealed that it controls billions of pounds of UK property.

Included in the holdings are 847 Irish Republic and UK properties linked to developers the agency forced out of business.

Nama has held this debt since taking charge of it from Irish banks in 2009. Included on the long and diverse list are Leeds housing programs and even a Leicester Square cinema. More than 250 of the properties are located in the UK.

In London alone, Nama controls a Shoreditch hotel, a major site within Leicester Square, and unfinished and completed property developments.

Also on the list are Arcadia Centre in Ealing, Maidenhead’s Concorde Business Park, and the Menai Centre Car Park located in Bangor. Residential and retail developments in Northern Ireland and Scotland round off the holdings.

Only developments in receivership are included. Other developers have entered agreements to trade under Nama supervision.

Nama must make the most of this bad property debt, maximizing long-term returns to Irish taxpayers. However, it says there are no plans for a UK fire sale and the market will not be flooded with cheap property.

To date, 80 percent of the £3.4 billion in sales have occurred outside of the Irish Republic. By the end of this year, Nama hopes to dispose of five billion euros of the UK loans.

Helping the Irish banks during the financial crisis has left Nama with £8.5 billion in total UK assets, according to the annual report of the agency. Though it says its intentions are not to flood the market, the fact that the majority of sales are taking place outside of Ireland indicates otherwise.

This has caused some industry watchers to become concerned.

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