The chairman of the National Asset Management Agency has said he is confident of “a sale very soon” of the unfinished headquarters of Anglo Irish Bank in Dublin’s North Wall Quay.
Frank Daly said that while many suggestions had been made about how NAMA might dispose of the site, including “knocking it down and throwing it into the Liffey”, he said it was “a good building” and its sale would be a “good result” for the agency.
He also said it was quite right to suggest the building was “probably a symbol of the worst excesses of the Celtic Tiger”, and added that its sale would “send out a good signal to the country”. The chairman refused to say who would be buying the building.
Earlier this week, the Irish Times reported that the Central Bank had emerged as the most likely purchaser of the site.
Mr Daly was speaking in Belfast today. He said NAMA’s €4 billion portfolio of acquired loans in Northern Ireland carried “specific problems” as 60% of the debt was secured on undeveloped land.
He said such a land bank may be difficult to dispose off in the current climate, but there was no immediate rush as the agency was a 7- to 10-year project. Loans acquired by NAMA in the North represent 4% of the agency’s total portfolio.
While a “significant” portion of these loans relate to undeveloped land, the agency has also taken control of loans relating to residential and commercial properties.
Mr Daly said, in general terms, the agency was working well with its 180 debtors there and added that those who did not want to engage with the agency were in a minority.