Somehow I can’t see our own Minister for Finance Michael Noonan every succumbing to the Twitter bug – the era of haggling over a calf at the Fair of Glin seems too far distant to be bridged by our finance minister who will be 70 next May. On the other side of the Border, the sometimes-bohemian Minister for Finance and Personnel in Northern Ireland, Sammy Wilson has always displayed an avant-garde streak, and today his satisfaction with the way NAMA is interacting with developers and developments in Northern Ireland, is tweeted by the Northern Ireland Executive here.
Minister Wilson claims in a statement issued today that NAMA has now made available in excess of GBP 100m (€125m) to Northern Ireland developers, though the majority – 60% – is earmarked for developments in mainland Britain, though these are managed and directed from Northern Ireland.
Minister Wilson goes on to say “This is clear evidence that NAMA is providing the assurances I sought from the Agency and the Irish Government that Northern Ireland assets would be carefully managed and there wouldn’t be any sort of rash fire-sale. This is welcome news and I will continue to liaise with NAMA on these important matters”
Whether it is €125m or just 40% of it that is being made available in Norther Ireland by NAMA, it represents a considerable leap from the start of this year when NAMA had approved a paltry €10m for Northern Ireland and spent even less, just €7m.
NAMA is also providing staple financing in Northern Ireland, though it is expected the lionshare of its €2bn allocation to staple financing will be spent in the Republic. Minister Wilson says “NAMA would welcome more viable propositions from both its Northern Ireland debtors and from prospective purchasers of commercial real estate where NAMA can make vendor finance available”