We seem to have forgotten that NAMA is selling €500-750m of assets a month, every single month by reference to the original book values of the loans it acquired. Remember that NAMA says it has, so far, disposed of €7bn of assets and this is by reference to NAMA’s values and NAMA paid just 43c in the euro when it acquired the €74bn of loans from the banks for €32bn. The €7bn of disposals should on average relate to €16bn of loans by reference to their original values, and over the 30 months from mid-2010 to end of 2012, that represents an average of €542m disposals per month, every month.
And the constant question you all want to ask is “how well is NAMA doing?”
And despite this blog being mainly devoted to reporting on NAMA, and therefore should have some special knowledge in the area, the answer is “difficult to tell”
We rarely get individual accounting on NAMA’s disposals. We have a rough idea what happened with the €800m Maybourne loans and the €100m Montevetro building sold to Google in Dublin, but that’s practically it.
Fine, we don’t get individual accounting and NAMA will stonewall you citing “confidentiality” when it is challenged on individual transactions. But surely the NAMA accounts should tell us how it is getting on.
Again no, because there are so many damned accounting convolutions used in the NAMA accounts that we may not really know how NAMA is getting on until we start to approach its winddown in 2020. Some accounting standards mean NAMA doesn’t have to face the full reality of problem loans, whilst other accounting standards prevent NAMA from recognizing all the profit from its disposals. So, we can’t even look at the NAMA profit or loss and say, “that underreports the true profit” or “that underreports the full loss”
So, what we are left with is reporting on snippets of NAMA’s performance here and there in the hope that enough snippets will give us a picture of how well the Agency is doing. That’s how primitive it is and that’s as good as this blog gets.
This week we again get confirmation at how lousy NAMA is with marketing its property.
Take a look at the above listing of a property that NAMA has foreclosed. Here are the errors in NAMA’s record.
(1) NAMA says the property is on Saint Field Road. There is no such place, it is Saintfield Road and if you search for Saintfield Road on the NAMA database, you won’t find this result.
(2) NAMA has two categories of “other” in its type of property, there’s “Other” and “other” and one doesn’t pick up both
(3) NAMA indicates that the property is not for sale. But it is. Here’s the brochure, Colliers International is looking for GBP 1.25 (€1.5m) for it. Here’s page one of the brochure.
(4) Saintfield Road is in Belfast and that doesn’t appear anywhere in the NAMA description.
I know that the NAMA foreclosed list is the most popular feature on the NAMA website, and it is the window by which most people get to see what NAMA has to offer. The above property is noteworthy because it was reported by the BBC in Northern Ireland here.
NAMA’s presentation of its foreclosed property is a disgrace. There have been humorous swipes at the error-ridden database on here before – here and here, for example – and NAMA has refused point-blank to provide a monthly update of the new properties that it adds to its foreclosure list, so you’ll have to trawl through over 100 screens on the NAMA website to see what is new, and the NAMA email function on the NAMA foreclosure page doesn’t work.
It was the BBC which reported that NAMA had foreclosed the major piece of development land in south Belfast shown above. It belonged to John McCann of McEneany Construction fame. It has, according to the BBC, planning permission for “247 homes comprising 117 townhouses, 68 mews houses, 14 semi-detached houses and 48 apartments” The BBC says that John is Dundalk-based, though the a local Dundalk newspaper said in 2011 that he had an address in Crossmaglen in county Armagh but was based in Switzerland. It is not clear if this is the same John McCann that NAMA sued last month in Dublin’s High Court. The land in Belfast is owned by Brooke Hall Limited, whose last accounts for year ended December 2010 are here, which show a balance sheet insolvent to the tune of GBP 3.8m (€4.4m) and which optimistically suggest the company will be able to meet its liabilities, in part, because of the assessment of “the current status of negotiations with NAMA”.