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Archive for October 31st, 2012

“NAMA and IBRC are actively engaged in reducing their respective portfolio of debts and debtors. They are not in direct competition with each other for customers and resources. The board of NAMA and the IBRC actively monitor all cost headings and are driving efficiencies and substantial savings through their procurement processes. Due to funding and operational considerations it is not considered appropriate to merge the two agencies at this time” Minister for Finance Michael Noonan responding to a parliamentary question on 18th September 2012

The IBRC top team turned up before an Oireachtas committee this morning and the headline might be that current estimate that the ultimate cost of Anglo Irish Bank will “only” be €25bn but that is in the range that has been understood for over two years – examples here and here. Mike Aynsley and Alan Dukes have said on numerous occasions in the past, as has Minister for Finance Michael Noonan, that the ultimate cost of Anglo will be €25-28bn, so a €25bn estimate today is hardly news though it is welcomed that it is at the lower end of the range previously provided. Alas, we received little information during the hearing which might validate the forecast, though we do know the eventual outturn will depend on the performance of the economy and property markets in particular.

But the IBRC team did complain that staff were being poached by state agencies and others.  This is an issue for IBRC as it sets salary levels. Although not specifically referred to, NAMA is in the same business as IBRC and is a state agency. But Minister Noonan said in response to a parliamentary question from the Sinn Fein finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty on 18th September that there was no competition between IBRC and NAMA for “customers and resources”. This wasn’t credible on 18th September 2012 and indicates Minister Noonan doesn’t understand the work of NAMA or IBRC.  Merging NAMA and IBRC through the issuance of more NAMA bonds would save this State well over €100m operating costs per annum, would improve performance of NAMA and IBRC through avoiding dysfunctional competition and by having one agency across all loans to the same debtor at both agencies.

The full parliamentary question from Deputy Doherty was

Deputy Pearse Doherty : asked the Minister for Finance the consideration that has been given to the merger of the National Asset Management Agency with the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation; and the scope for reducing competition between the two State owned entities for resources and customers, and potential savings to the combined annual operating costs of €400-500million. 

Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan:  NAMA and IBRC are actively engaged in reducing their respective portfolio of debts and debtors. They are not in direct competition with each other for customers and resources. The board of NAMA and the IBRC actively monitor all cost headings and are driving efficiencies and substantial savings through their procurement processes. Due to funding and operational considerations it is not considered appropriate to merge the two agencies at this time.

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On this side of the Border, the mega property auctions held by Allsop Space are going to get megaier with 200 Lot auctions expected in 2013, the catalogue will be available on Monday next 6th November, 2012 for the next auction which will be held in the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin on 4th December 2012. But in Northern Ireland, Osborne King is building up its auction business and on 23rd November, 2012 there should be 36 properties on offer on behalf of receivers, administrators, mortgagees, financial institutions and private clients – the auction catalogue is here. The 36 properties  are spread across the six counties in Northern Ireland and have a total maximum reserve of just under GBP 2.4m (€3m).  The properties are a mixture of residential, commercial and development. A key difference between Allsop Space and Osborne King is that Allsop Space will not sell properties before the auction itself, whilst Osborne King will.  By Northern Ireland standards, the auction of 36 properties justifies the characterisation of “giant”

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