NAMA generated more than €1.3bn cash in 2019 and will send €2bn to the Exchequer in the second half of 2020, which will represent the first payout of a €4bn projected surplus as it is wound up.
The contribution to the 2020 Budget has already been inked in by Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe as part of his €66bn programme of spending.
The Government is set to record its second successive budget surplus in the year just gone and the funds from Nama will help shore up another likely surplus.
“We will redeem the last of our remaining subordinated debt and our private equity obligations and, in the second half of 2020, commence the payment of our terminal surplus to the Exchequer,” Nama chairman Aidan Williams said.
The State body’s senior and subordinated debt obligations stood at €31.8bn at its inception. The agency was set up in 2009 by then finance minister Brian Lenihan to strip bad debts out from banks that had been bailed out by the State, in a bid to get the financial system working again.
Nama’s initial remit was to seek to recoup the €72bn book value of the assets it took over, but that morphed into a stance under which it had to recoup just the money it had spent on the loans at €32bn.
Even though the bulk of the debt recovery it was charged will soon end, the agency’s remit has been extended until 2025 so as to manage some of its outstanding property and other projects.
The go-ahead for the Poolbeg special development zone (SDZ) finally went through in April last year, opening up a huge site close to Dublin’s city centre where planning had stalled progress.
“Nama owns a significant portion of the SDZ area and is seeking an investment partner for the development of the site,” the agency said.
“The site has potential to deliver 3,500 residential units, one million square feet of commercial and retail space, and a school site,” it noted.
Nama’s current residential pipeline totals 27,650 units.
Chalking the agency off as a success, however, does not mean taxpayers will have recouped all of the money spent to bail out the financial system, something that has lumbered the State with €200bn of debt.
The Comptroller and Auditor General annual report for 2018 said it was unlikely taxpayers would recover all of the money spent as the economic crisis broke. It said the cost of the bailout for AIB was an estimated €9.5bn, after taking account of the €7.1bn value of the State’s remaining shareholding in AIB and said the costs of servicing the debt had so far amounted to €6.2bn.
Overall, the rescue package for AIB, Bank of Ireland, Permanent TSB and IBRC had cost taxpayers a net €41.7bn by the end of 2018.
On IBRC alone, from which the State does not expect to make any more meaningful recoveries, the net cost was €36.4bn.