Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Questions (76, 77, 78, 79)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

80 Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Finance his views on the strain being put on long-established hotelier by National Asset Management Agency operated hotels who are able to offer unrealistically low prices; his plans to review the long-term viability of these hotels that are operating at a loss; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34507/12]

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Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

81 Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Finance the number of hotels here that are operated by the National Asset Management Agency; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34508/12]

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Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

82 Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Finance the number of hotels under the control of the National Asset Management Agency that have closed down recently; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34509/12]

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Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

83 Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Finance his views on the fact that long-established hoteliers in the hospitality sector are being put under severe strain by the National Asset Management Agency operated hotels who are able to offer unrealistically low prices in many cases; if he will review the long-term viability of operating these hotels at a loss; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34550/12]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Finance)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 80 to 83, inclusive, together.

NAMA advises that it does not own or operate hotels. NAMA's role in relation to the properties securing its loans is that of a secured lender. Other than properties that have been enforced, all of which are listed on NAMA's website and which are managed by the appointed receivers/administrators, properties including hotels continue to be managed by their existing owners or their professional managers/agents. NAMA, in line with its legislative remit, takes a very close interest in their efficient management and sale with the view to maximum loan repayment in order to protect the position of the taxpayer.

NAMA advises that its debtors and receivers control 121 hotels in Ireland, of which 117 are fully operating; four hotels recently ceased trading. There are over 900 operating hotels in Ireland and, accordingly, NAMA has exposure to only 13% of the sector. Its potential impact on the overall viability of the sector is overstated. The Deputy may wish to note that NAMA have advised that while the Competition Authority received complaints about NAMA's impact on the hotel sector, the Authority decided not to pursue these complaints after engaging with NAMA.

NAMA further advises that as a secured lender it will not advance funding to hotels that are not commercially viable as there would be no foreseeable return on such funding and, therefore, it would run contrary to NAMA's statutory commercial remit.