Archive for the ‘Non-Irish property’ Category

In the Dail this week, Minister for Finance Michael Noonan provided details of the PR expenditure at the  NTMA, an umbrella agency which encompasses NAMA. We learned that Gordon MRM, the PR agency most associated with NAMA, received just over €200,000 a year during the past three years or a total of €660,000 to the end of February 2013. This company was re-appointed to the role after a competitive tender process involving four other companies, at the end of 2012. It has done a reasonable job of promoting NAMA during the past three years, and it must be said that aside from the Enda Farrell affair, NAMA has emerged reasonably unscathed in terms of its reputation, though credit for that clean sheet is broad-based. If only Gordon MRM could gets its archive of press releases on its website to work…

But what was unexpected in Minister Noonan’s response is the NTMA has also engaged the British PR company which is the respondent in a Paddy McKillen defamation action in Dublin’s High Court. Powerscourt has been paid just over €250,000 in the last 3.5 years by the NTMA though €160,000 was spent in 2010 alone. On 27th February 2013, developer and businessman, Paddy sued Powerscourt and one of its executives, Conal Walsh in Dublin’s High Court.

A statement was made by Powerscourt on 30th November 2012 on behalf of the Barclays – the two brothers fighting to take control of three London hotels in which Paddy McKillen has a 36% stake – a statement which contained something which Paddy regards as, according to the Sunday Independent, “defamatory of him as they questioned his motivation for bringing proceedings before the UK Court of Appeal” in the latter half of 2012. You might recall that following Paddy’s defeat in the London High Court last August 2012, he was firstly hit with legal costs which have been estimated at €25m. We learned from the Sunday Times recently that Paddy sought what was described as an emergency loan of GBP 5-5.9m last October 2012 at IBRC; approval for that loan application was given by IBRC though it seems that Paddy funded those partial legal costs from elsewhere. Paddy sought, and was granted, permission to appeal the UK High Court judgment, the appeal was heard at the start of February 2013 and a judgment is expected any day now.

Paddy is, at present, complaining that there is what is described by the Irish Times as a “sustained strategy” against him involving NAMA and the Department of Finance. The NTMA’s engagement of Powerscourt may just exacerbate that sense of grievance Paddy is suing associates of the Barclays as well as Powerscourt and its executive for defamation in Dublin. Separately, he is suing NAMA for breach of confidentiality and privacy. He has launched legal action against the Sunday Times and one of its journalists Mark Tighe over a story which a judge has partly injuncted. And any day now, he will learn the outcome of his appeal against a UK High Court decision.

The NTMA expenditure on PR emerged from parliamentary questions asked by the Sinn Fein jobs and enterprise spokesperson, Peadar Toibin and are here:

Deputy Peadar Tóibín: To ask the Minister for Finance if he will provide, in tabular form, a list public relations companies that received payments from either the National Assets Management Agency, the National Treasury Management Agency, the National Development Finance Agency, the State Claims Agency or the National Pension Reserve Fund; the overall cost of these payments from each agency named and the level of payments made by each agency to each company listed in respect of work carried in the years 2010, 2011, 2012 and to date in 2013. [21365/13]

Deputy Peadar Tóibín:To ask the Minister for Finance the number of companies or individuals that recently tendered for the renewal of the public relations contract for the National Treasury Management Agency; and if the NTMA secured a reduction in the rate charged in the previous contract. [21366/13]

Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan: I propose to take Questions Nos. 145 and 146 together.

The National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) does not maintain an internal press office. Instead, its internal communications resources are supported by an external service provider (appointed following a public procurement process) – currently Gordon MRM – in order to offer a full press office and communications service (including out-of-hours contacts for the media) across all the NTMA’s business areas: Debt Management, National Asset Management Agency (NAMA), National Pensions Reserve Fund, National Development Finance Agency, State Claims Agency, NewERA and, during 2010 and 2011, the Banking Unit.

These arrangements were initially put in place during 2010 in light of a significant increase in the volume of domestic and international media queries being received by the NTMA and associated bodies. In September 2012 the NTMA retendered for the provision of these services. A total of five companies submitted tenders. Following the tender evaluation process the NTMA awarded the contract to Gordon MRM in December 2012.

The initial contract, in place to end-2012, was based on an hourly rate for services provided. During the term of this contract a 20% reduction in the hourly rate was agreed with effect from June 2011 until the end of the contract. The new contract, which commenced in January 2013, is based on a fixed fee and it is anticipated that this will result in a significant reduction in the overall fees paid by the NTMA.

NAMA draws on the NTMA’s shared services in a number of areas including its outsourced press office facility. NAMA reimburses the NTMA in respect of the costs of these services attributable to NAMA.

The overall costs incurred for the provision of the services above (excluding VAT) were as follows:

2010 – €207,255*

2011 – €205,388 (of which €112,353 was charged to NAMA)

2012 – €223,723 (of which €142,653 was charged to NAMA)

2013 – €24,488 (to end-February) (of which €12,000 was charged to NAMA).

* In 2010 costs were not specifically attributed to NAMA. NAMA was charged a proportionate share of the NTMA’s third party service costs which included Gordon MRM.

In the light of the sovereign debt crisis the NTMA also engaged Powerscourt – a London based communications consultancy – for international communications initiatives in the funding and debt management area. Total costs (excluding VAT) incurred for the provision of the services provided by Powerscourt were as follows:

2010 – €160,334

2011 – €74,395

2012 – €10,257

2013 – €12,103 (to end-February).

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“An Individual Voluntary Arrangement* would have produced a much greater financial return to NAMA and my other creditors. However, I have been advised that NAMA would never, and had by then never, engaged constructively with an IVA and so my only real option, in the absence of being able to satisfy the demand was to petition for bankruptcy. “ Businessman John  Fraher’s affidavit in his unsuccessful defence against NAMA’s application for a €5.9m judgment

This may not be a first, but it is the first that has made it into the media. Kerry developer John Cahillane is attempting to negotiate what the Brits call an Individual Voluntary Arrangement or “IVA” – see below* for summary explanation. This is an alternative to bankruptcy and is roughly akin to our Personal Insolvency Arrangement which allows for assets to be disposed of, for the debtor to work with their creditors over a period of time, and to provide what would usually be a better result for creditors.

In John’s case, he claims that if he files for bankruptcy, his unsecured creditors will receive 0c in the euro but through an IVA they will receive about 13.5c in the euro. John Cahillane says he has assets of €56m and liabilities of €73m. This is a Part 1 of a 2-part blogpost, Part 2 tomorrow will examine the IVA proposal in detail but in essence, John is trying to get NAMA to accept that its recourse is only to the property securing the loans, and John is saying he will make a €60k-odd contribution to the IVA from third party contributions – maybe from his wife, but that doesn’t appear to be specified – and from equity in his family home.

NAMA moved against John’s company in December 2011, having KPMG appointed as receivers to Cloonbeg Developers Limited. It would appear from the IVA that John subsequently relocated to the UK, his present address is in Kilburn, north London and he says he informed his creditors of this relocation in January 2013. He is presently employed as a business development executive with Purcell Development Services Limited, a new company in which John “identifies new development and construction projects for investors in the UK and Europe”.

John’s property businesses were based in Ireland (mostly Kerry, it seems), Portugal, mainland Spain, the Canary Island and Cape Verde.

John’s biggest creditor at €54m is NAMA following NAMA’s acquisition of AIB loans, and NAMA has apparently taken a negative position on the IVA proposal. This is seemingly a policy stance at NAMA, because John Fraher in a completely unrelated court matter last week, said in his affidavit that NAMA won’t entertain IVAs. NAMA was asked today to comment on its position on this IVA proposal, and also about its general stance towards IVAs. There has been no response at time of writing.

Other creditors, apart from NAMA, which comprise a minority of the €73m of debts, are more supportive – creditors in a Cape Verde scheme apparently owed €11m are supportive. There is a creditors meeting scheduled for Friday 10th May 2012 in London to determine the way forward. The London City branch of English accountancy firm, MHA MacIntyre Davis is acting on behalf of John Unfortunately John needs 75% of his creditors to agree to the proposal, and the scheme will fail unless NAMA accepts it.

What is an IVA?

Alternative to bankruptcy, akin to our personal insolvency scheme, but has very significant differences.

Term, can be days but typically is for five years, six if the IVA doesn’t force the sale of the family home

Assets and liabilities, like a bankruptcy, most assets are generally liquidated to pay the liabilities.

Pension pots, generally protected.

Family home. If your home is worth more than its mortgage, usually you’re required to re-mortgage and pay the equity into the IVA. If you can’t then your IVA period may be increased by 12 months.

Income. Like the personal insolvency scheme, you work out with your Insolvency practitioner, or IVA practitioner, what you need to live on and the rest gets paid into the IVA, which pays the practitioner and your creditors.

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Just in this evening, the US court system PACER is indicating that the creditors meeting in the Sean Dunne bankruptcy that was scheduled for this Wednesday 8th May, 2013 is now “off”. PACER indicates that there is a statement adjourning the meeting together with a “hearing off” statement. Neither document has been uploaded to PACER yet, so we don’t yet know the details or if a new hearing has been scheduled.

At this stage, it is too early to read much into the development, we don’t know why the meeting has been adjourned or at who’s request, Sean’s, the bankruptcy trustees or some other party or the judge.

Hopefully the documents will become available soon on PACER and will be brought to you here.

UPDATE (1): 6th May, 2013.  The new date for the creditors meeting is 29th May 2013 at 10am (EDT) at the premises of the trustee, Richard Coan.

UPDATE (2): 6th May, 2013. It is understood the postponement was at the request of NAMA and it seems NAMA has sought more time to digest the statement of affairs filed on Friday night.

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The reserved judgment in the Paddy McKillen
appeal hearing in London is due any day now
Monday 6th May 2013
Holiday in Ireland and UK
Tuesday 7th May 2013
(CSO) Vehicles licensed for the first time April 2013
(CSO) Mthly Services Index Mar 2013 (Provl) Feb 2013 (Final)
Troika review scheduled to conclude
Agriculture Oireachtas committee – Coillte sale
Wednesday 8th May 2013
(CSO) Crops and Livestock Survey June 2012
Finance Oireachtas committee – Pre-ECOFIN Min Finance
Sean Dunne creditors meeting Connecticut
Thursday 9th May 2013
(CSO) Consumer Price Index April 2013
Friday 10th May 2013
Central Bank provisional banking figures April 2013

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There is deep concern on here at the special liquidation of IBRC which will see some €16bn of assets disposed of, or transferred to NAMA over the next six months* The disposal of the assets is taking place behind a curtain of secrecy and Minister for Finance Michael Noonan refuses to extend NAMA’s anti-lobbying rules to the IBRC liquidation, which means what stands between these assets and shenanigans is the professionalism of the special liquidator, Kieran Wallace of KPMG. KPMG has appointed UBS and PwC to value the loans but Minister Noonan refuses to publish the request for procurement citing commercial confidentiality. We don’t even know what the assets IBRC would have had in February 2013, because Minister Noonan refuses to publish accounts for the second half of 2012, so the latest reporting we have on IBRC is for the six months ended 30th June 2012.

We are still apparently at the phase of the IBRC liquidation when existing borrowers at IBRC can refinance their loans; and when this phase is over, the loans will be offered to the market at no less than the valuation placed on the loans by PwC and UBS. So, right now, IBRC’s borrowers are scrambling about to refinance their loans, we believe at 100% of their par values, though Minister Noonan refused to confirm last week if all refinanced loans were repaid 100%, citing commercial confidentiality.

And the most vociferous of the IBRC borrowers by a country mile has been developer and businessman Paddy McKillen who gets a platform in today’s Irish Times – here and here – to attack the IBRC special liquidator, the Department of Finance and NAMA. Paddy is reported to have offered to pay €180m upfront for loans with a par value of €800m, with the remainder repaid in full by 2016. Trouble is that IBRC is being wound down now, and by 2016 should be just a bad national memory. So it is unclear what Paddy expects IBRC to do with his loans between now and 2016 – he has previously fought a battle against NAMA to stop his loans being taken over by the Agency, so does he expect IBRC to be kept open specially for him?

The Special Liquidator at IBRC is reported by Paddy in the Irish Times to have declined the €180m upfront offer so Paddy has a platform to have a whine and make all sorts of claims but the Special Liquidator’s position is not reported. A request for comment was made to Kieran Wallace this morning but there was no response at time of writing, and the likelihood is that no comment will be forthcoming on a specific loan anyway.

You will be hard-pressed to find any greater display of chutzpah in the media today than when Paddy is quoted as saying : “One billion euro of that amount [€2.1bn] has already been repaid to the State at full value” Paddy is seemingly referring to his borrowings from Irish banks. But, this presumably includes the €800m “repaid” after NAMA sold €800m of loans in the Maybourne group, to the Barclay brothers. Even though he eventually lost, Paddy, memorably, went to court in the UK to stop that transfer! Paddy was asked to comment on the €1bn repayment and for an outline of his repayment plans between now and 2016, but at time of writing there has not yet been a response.

What we all know is that some of Paddy’s IBRC loans relate to his stake in the Maybourne set of three luxury London hotels, Claridge’s, the Berkeley and the Connaught. And the Barclay brothers who own 28% of Maybourne, and have received support from Derek Quinlan’s 36%, have made no secret of their desire to acquire Paddy’s 36% stake or at least dilute him to such an extent that his influence as a minority shareholder would be nugatory. It has been reported that the Barclays would be prepared to pay in excess of the market value for Paddy’s Maybourne loans, and no doubt, Paddy will use all his considerable acumen to prevent that from happening.

But negotiating through the national press with a Special Liquidator that is presumably constrained in his ability to comment? Paddy has a right to refinance his loans right now at 100% and no-one, not Minister Noonan, Secretary General Moran, Special Liquidator Kieran Wallace nor NAMA’s Brendan McDonagh can stop Paddy in doing that. Meantime, they all have the duty to maximize returns from these assets.

* The original plan was for most of the unsold IBRC loans to be transferred to NAMA in August 2013, but press reporting has since suggested this has slipped, and Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has refused to provide an updated estimate.

UPDATE: 5th May, 2013. In the Sunday Independent today, Tom Lyons provides additional information on Paddy’s negotiations. He claims that the offer to refinance the €180m of loans was at “a relatively minor single digit write down”. A 9% write down would equate to about €16m, but we don’t know the “single digit” so it might conceivably have been €1.8m, which is still significant to a man who reportedly sought approval of what the Sunday Times last week called an “emergency loan” from IBRC in October 2012 of GBP 5-5.9m (€5.9-€7m). The Sunday Times indicates that although the facility was approved, it was never drawn down by Paddy who had other options. So there are mixed messages from the incident with suggestions that Paddy was in a corner financially, but at the same time, Paddy had options and didn’t need draw down an approved loan.

Tom writes in the Sindo today that the refinancing offer was “provisionally agreed” with IBRC in December 2012 but that the Special Liquidator of IBRC, Kieran Wallace has subsequently been holding firm to the position that refinancing be at 100% until such time that the loans are independently valued and offered to the market. Despite Minister Noonan’s refusal to confirm this was the case two weeks ago, citing commercial confidentiality, I also understand that it is KPMG’s position that loans be refinanced at 100% only in the refinancing window which will expire shortly.

Eyebrows might be raised in some quarters at the claim in Tom’s report that Paddy’s 36-7% stake in Coroin, the company that owns, the three hotels might be worth €200m. Even after the rights issue late last year, that looks ambitious for what remains, when you strip away the razzamatazz surrounding three lumps of performing bricks and mortar in central London, a heavily indebted company producing relatively modest profits.


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They were filed in Connecticut late last night, and are available here – at 53 pages, might take a moment to download. The figures below are all in United States Dollars (USD) though Sean says in his statement that he used an exchange rate with the euro of USD 1.2798 and with sterling of USD 1.51. The value of real estate is, according to the statement, the same as was given to NAMA in December 2010 and has not been updated. Sean may sue other people, and he alerts us to that fact, “despite his reasonable efforts to identify all known assets, the Debtor may not have set forth all of his causes of action or potential causes of action against third parties as assets in his Schedules and Statements.”


Sean says that his USD 41m of “real property” against which there is a total of USD 745m of secured claims. What a sobering statement. The property includes a site at 72-80 North Wall Quay in Dublin currently worth less than USD 1m but with a secured claim of USD 282m, that’s a 99.7% decline from the secured amount. The main property comprising the USD 41m is Ouragh at 20a Shrewsbury Road valued at USD 10m and said to be his principal private residence – Certus is said to have a USD 15m secured claim on this property; land and sites at Charlesland in Wicklow of USD 8m, the Charles Retail and Leisure Centre of USD 5m and four apartments at Hollybrook on Brighton Road in Foxrock of USD 3m.

Sean’s non “real property” of USD 14m includes USD 960 of cash; most of the bank accounts are frozen, but interestingly, he has a measly USD 15 in People’s United Bank, the bank which the trustee has sought a subpoena to question. There’s a USD 1m pension pot at DCD Builders. He has listed a USD 12m claim against Kildare County Council as his main, non-real estate asset. This is a claim jointly with Sean Mulryan against Kildare CC and Sean describes it as a “50% Interest in Newbridge Inner Relief Road (counter claim against Kildare County Council Levies) constructed in lieu of levies for Whitewater Shopping Center”. Dublin solicitors, Beauchamps are said to owe Sean USD 53,572 in “overpaid legal fees”. There’s an insurance claim outstanding in respect of Sean’s home on Shrewsbury Road.

The vast majority of what would have been considered Sean’s assets, his developments, have now mostly been placed under the control of his creditors and are not included in the above, though they are itemized. Surprising not to see property in the UK or elsewhere, but perhaps it has all been disposed of as part of Sean’s efforts to repay his creditors.


The biggies are Ulster Bank owed USD 394m; NAMA owed USD 340m; Michael O’Flynn’s O’Flynn Construction owed USD 102m [UPDATE 4th May 2013] though it is understood that this loan was in fact provided by Irish Nationwide and has since been assigned to NAMA; Sean owes USD 50m to parties identified only as “A” and “B” resulting from judgments of the court in matters heard in camera, probably family law matters; Kildare County Council is owed USD 12m but there is a counterclaim against this;

Although not “biggies”, seems top-tier Dublin solicitors Arthur Cox are owed USD 1.5m; Bruce Shaw is owed a relatively small USD 12,798; the IDA is owed USD 140,778;  it is “unknown” how much is owed to KPMG – this is the crowd who audited AIB, Irish Nationwide and Permanent TSB during the boom, who oversaw the balls-up at the Lotto draw recently, who believe IBRC’s loans are worth about 60c in the euro and who, we learned last week, have not yet raised a single fee note for their work on IBRC.

Ballymore’s Sean Mulryan is claimed to be a co-debtor on some of Sean’s obligations.

Income and expenses


Sean declares USD 808,000 of income in 2011 and USD 204,000 in 2012 and USD 66,000 in 2013. This includes sales of land, rental income and the USD 30,000 sale of a car in February 2013 to Mahoney Motors in Dublin – there is a Denis Mahony Toyota, Lexus and Mercedes group in Dublin, and maybe Sean means this, but it is not quite clear as Sean spells it Mahoney with an “e” and the group trades as “Denis Mahony”

Elsewhere Sean says he is now employed by Mountbrook USA as a project manager with monthly gross income of USD 8,333.33. In addition he shows his estimated monthly gross rental receipts at USD 13,670 which equals a mortgage payment of USD 13,670 shown under his monthly expenses. His itemized monthly expenses mostly comprise that mortgage payment, rent of USD 3,600 and life assurance of USD 1,007. His total monthly income is shown as USD 22,003 and his expenses at USD 21,807

Law suits

Sean has to list current and recent law suits in his filing, and we learn that two defamation proceedings dating from 2006 against Associated Newspapers Limited, publishers of the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday, are pending. There is also a case by Irishman, Sean Doyle against the Dunnes in a New York court, that case is in arbitration.

Where Sean lives


Sean was required to list his place address of residence for the past three years, and lists four addresses, one in Switzerland, one in Dublin and two in Connecticut – above. Interesting that he indicates that his residence at 526 Indian Field Road was January 2011 through to March 2013, but Sean was only required to provide addresses UP TO his filing for bankruptcy on 29th March 2013. Recent indications are that the Dunnes have now vacated this property.


Sean is required to provide “bookkeepers and accountants” kept records in the past two years and Sean merely lists two in a manner which doesn’t fully identify them “J Ryan Ireland” and “R Connolly Ireland” who are both described as providing services “periodically during the past two years”

Sean’s award-winning bankruptcy attorney, James Berman, says that he has already been paid USD 15,000 by Sean.

We cannot see much of the detail of who Sean co-owns some real estate property with, because the spreadsheet submitted to the court truncates descriptions. That will need be rectified.

Sean says his loans – just some of his loans from later on – from Bank of Scotland Ireland have been sold to a company called “Risali Limited” and if that is an Irish incorporated company, then it is the company incorporated in November 2012 whose directors are Wendy Merrigan and Rory Williams (43). According to the creditors listing included in the statement, he now owes USD 16.2m to Risali secured on property on Serpentine Avenue in Ballsbridge and a company called Breccia Limited.

The statement of financial affairs is electronically signed by Sean on 3rd May 2013, and his signing is “under penalty of perjury” with penalties of fines up to USD 500,000 or imprisonment for up to five years, or both”. There is a creditors meeting scheduled for 8th May 2013, and we should learn soon afterwards if issues are raised with the bankruptcy, though it should be stressed that it is for the trustee to decide how the bankruptcy will proceed.

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This evening, we finally have Sean Dunne’s various statements of financial affairs. There is something deeply sad about exposing the financial minutiae of a well-lived life, and the information is brought to you here because Sean owes NAMA, and by extension the Irish state, €185m. Comments will be strictly policed, remember this is a man’s life, or at least the financial aspect of it.

The statements are lengthy at 53 pages and are brought to you here.

In summary, Sean apparently estimates his liabilities at USD 942,204,885 and his assets at USD 55,214,829 though on some summaries there are different figures.

Sean has USD 960 of cash on hand and his bank accounts disclosed have all been frozen. Amongst his listed assets are  “Daily Mail Defamation Claims” – note the plural – and overpaid fees to Dublin solicitors Beauchamps.

There will be analysis here tomorrow – there is a LOT of information in the statement.

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Seems not a day goes by in the Sean Dunne bankruptcy affair without some new development. Today, Sean’s award-winning bankruptcy lawyer has succeeded in getting a hearing scheduled for 21st May 2013 to discuss the following “Motion to Extend Deadline to File Schedules or Provide Required Information Filed by James Berman on behalf of Sean Dunne, Debtor. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order) (Berman, James)”

This doesn’t make a lot of sense. Sean obtained a second extension to file his financial information and that expires tomorrow 2nd May 2013. So it seems that we mightn’t get the statement of affairs tomorrow as expected. Also there is no attached proposed order in today’s filings.

But the judge has scheduled a hearing for 21st May 2013.

There was supposed to be a creditors hearing on [CORRECTED] 8th May 2013, so the status of that is uncertain now also, as the creditors will need to have sight of Sean’s statement of affairs.

The filing today is available here.

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The Nationwide Building Society has this morning published its UK House Price data for  April 2013. The Nationwide tends to be the first of the two UK building societies (the other being the Halifax) to produce house price data each month, it is one of the information sources referenced by NAMA’s Long Term Economic Value Regulation and is the source for the UK Residential key market data at the top of this page.

The Nationwide says that the average price of a UK home is now GBP 165,586 (compared to GBP 164,630 in March 2013 and GBP £162,764 at the end of November 2009 – 30th November, 2009 is the Valuation date chosen by NAMA by reference to which it valued the Current Market Values of assets underpinning NAMA loans).

UK prices are up 0.8% over the past 12 months and are now 11.0% off the peak of GBP £186,044 in October 2007. Interestingly the average house price at the end of April 2013 being GBP £165,586 (or €195,491 at GBP 1 = EUR 1.1806) is 27% above the €154,232 implied by applying the CSO March 2013 index to the PTSB/ESRI peak prices in Ireland.

It should be said that in the UK, the Nationwide Building Society adjusts the actual prices for seasonal factors and reports that prices were “little changed” in 2013 with a seasonally adjusted 0.1% decline. The view on here is that seasonality is irrelevant in the market but views differ.


With the latest release from Nationwide, UK house prices have increased 1.7% since 30th November, 2009, the date chosen by NAMA pursuant to the section 73 of the NAMA Act by reference to which Current Market Values of assets are valued. The NWL Index is now at 777.1 (because only an estimated 20% of NAMA property in the UK is residential and only 29% of NAMA’s property overall is in the UK, small changes in UK residential have a negligible impact on the index) meaning that average prices of NAMA property must increase by a weighted average of 28.7% for NAMA to breakeven on a gross basis.

According to the Nationwide this morning, the outlook for 2013 is uncertain but recent developments in the provision of credit for first time buyers and other initiatives may lift activity slightly,

“The outlook for the housing market is unusually uncertain at present, in part because the prospects for the wider economy are unclear, but also as the impact of a number of policy initiatives is hard to gauge”

On 20th March 2013, the UK’s independent Office for Budget Responsibility published its latest fiscal outlook which forecasts GDP for 2013-2017 at 0.6%, 1.8%, 2.3%, 2.7% and 2.8% (but as with all economic forecasts in the long term, all forecasters forecast a peachy outlook!). Deficit:GDP is forecast for 2013-2017 as 6.8%, 6.0%, 5.2%, 3.5% and 2.3%. Debt:GDP is forecast in 2013-2017 at 94.9%, 98.6%, 100.8%, 100.8% and 99.4%. Inflation is forecast for 2013-2017 at 2.8%, 2.4%, 2.1%, 2.0% and 2.0%. It expects residential prices to increase 0.9%, 1.9%. 3.6%, 4.0% and 4.0% in 2013-2017 and commercial property to change -0.1%, 2.6%, 3.6%, 3.8% and 3.4%.

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News this evening from Connecticut that the bankruptcy trustee managing Sean Dunne’s bankruptcy has sought two new subpoenas compelling a US bank and a surveyor to submit to questioning in relation to Sean’s affairs.

The bankruptcy trustee, Richard Coan and his law firm, Coan, Lewendon, Gulliver and Miltenberger have asked the court to grant them a so-called Rule 2004 Examination which, if granted, will allow them to question two parties, who they claim, have information relevant to the assets of Sean and/or transfers and/or other information.


The two separate parties are Andy Smyth – pictured above – a surveyor with the New York firm, Bruce Shaw and secondly, a bank, People’s United Bank in Connecticut. The subpoena applications are here and here. The judge has not yet approved them but he did approve a subpoena application which compels companies in the Credit Suisse group to submit to questioning.

Neither People’s United Bank nor Andy Smyth are shown as creditors on Sean’s filings.

UPDATE: 1st May, 2013. Bruce Shaw, the Irish headquartered quantity surveying and property services firm is on Sean’s creditors list. Sean who is himself a quantity surveyor, has a long history with Bruce Shaw. It is understood he went to college with Michael Scollard and Derry Scully who worked at Bruce Shaw. In fact Michael Scollard left Bruce Shaw to work as project manager on Sean’s ultimately-disastrous Ballsbridge development – “Knightsbridge in D2”.  Bruce Shaw was very active in the boom, being Ireland’s largest quantity surveying firm and was particularly active in the development of Dublin’s docklands.

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