IBRC Liquidation

Questions (64, 94, 95)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

64. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance if he will explain the decision to provide €1 billion credit facility from the National Asset Management Agency for the use of the special liquidator of the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation; when the decision was made; what the credit facility is intended to be used for; the way the €1 billion, if used, will be repaid to NAMA; if he had to seek permission to use NAMA for such a credit facility from another entity such as the European Central Bank; if the funding of the credit facility comes from cash assets at NAMA; and if NAMA can still meet its bond repayments due at the end of 2013. [10476/13]

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Pearse Doherty

Question:

94. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance further to the announcement by the National Asset Management Agency on 21 February 2013 that it has made a €1bn credit line available to Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, if he will confirm the interest rate and arrangement fee that applies to the facility and any moneys advanced under it. [10643/13]

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Pearse Doherty

Question:

95. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance further to the announcement by the National Asset Management Agency on 21 February 2013 that it has made a €1bn credit line available to Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, if the NAMA action was subject to a NAMA board decision; and if so, the date of the board decision. [10644/13]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 64, 94 and 95 together.

On the 7th February 2013 I issued a Direction (NAMA/3/12/IBRC Act) to NAMA pursuant to the IBRC Act 2013 to provide such credit facilities to a special liquidator on such terms and conditions, as are specified in the direction. NAMA has complied with this Direction and made a €1 billion credit facility available to the special liquidator. The interest rate as per the facility agreement is referenced to the daily one-month euribor rate plus a margin of 140 basis points. The facility will be advanced to IBRC (in Liquidation) as needed for both the general corporate purposes of the Company and to discharge the Company’s obligations to derivatives counterparties under derivative collateral arrangements and/or obligations to the NTMA under the NTMA ISDA Master agreement. The amounts drawn under this facility shall constitute and rank as costs of the liquidation of the Company.

I am advised by NAMA that following receipt of the Direction, the Board of NAMA met on Thursday, 7th February 2013 and approved the €1 billion facility. NAMA has made this facility available to the Company in accordance with its approved liquidity policy and from its own liquid assets. The granting of this facility does not impact on NAMA’s ability to redeem its senior bonds in accordance with the previously indicated senior bond redemption targets.

IBRC Liquidation

Questions (65)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

65. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance if he will provide an assessment of the value privileged inside information may have to potential buyers of Irish Bank Resolution Corporation during the term of liquidation. [10502/13]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

It is not possible to attach a value to this privileged information. I have been informed that in addition to the policies and procedures that have been put in place by the Special Liquidators to ensure that no privileged information leaves IBRC (in Special Liquidation), employees owe a common law duty of confidentiality such that they cannot use confidential information obtained during the course of their employment to the detriment of their (former) employer. In addition Ethic in Public Office Acts applies to current former executives and other office holders in the IBRC where the salary earned by those employees is not less than the maximum salary of a higher executive officer (general service grade, Class B PRSI) in the Civil Service (c.€55,415). Codes of Conduct issued under these Acts require that former office holders should act in a way which ensures an unfair advantage would not be conferred in a new appointment, by virtue of for example, access to official information the office holder previously enjoyed.

Legislative Process

Questions (66)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

66. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance if he will identify all non-Government parties which contribute to the drafting of the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation Bill 2013. [10503/13]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

The Irish Bank Resolution Corporation Bill 2013 (the “Bill”) was drafted by the Office of the Attorney General. The formulation of the legislation was primarily conducted by the Department of Finance. However advices were received from Arthur Cox Solicitors and in connection with the preparation of the legislation. In addition the National Treasury Management Agency, the National Asset management Agency and the Central Bank of Ireland were consulted in respect of the preparation of the legislation. Those agencies may have also obtained their own external legal advices. The Special Liquidators were also provided with the opportunity to review and comment on the draft Bill.

Legislative Process

Questions (67)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

67. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance if he will outline the involvement of a law firm (details supplied) in the drafting of any part of the Irish bank Resolution Corporation Bill 2013. [10504/13]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

The company referred to in the question provided legal advices in connection with the formulation and preparation of the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation Bill, which was drafted by the Office of the Attorney General. The substance of those advices are subject to legal professional privilege.

Ministerial Meetings

Questions (68)

Gerry Adams

Question:

68. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Finance the recent contacts he had had with Mario Draghi, President of the ECB. [2376/13]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

It should be noted that every economics and finance minister in the European Union is a member of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council (Ecofin). Each month the Ecofin Council meets to discuss economic policy coordination, economic surveillance, monitoring of Member States' budgetary policy and public finances, financial markets and capital movements, as well as other matters. In addition, the Eurogroup - which comprises ministers of the Member States whose currency is the euro - usually meets the day before the Ecofin meeting to deal with issues relating to the Economic and Monetary Union. The President of the ECB is also in attendance at these meetings. As Minister for Finance, I have regular contact with Mario Draghi, President of the ECB mainly on the margins of these Eurogroup and Ecofin meetings. In the period from December 2012 to date (27 February 2013), Ecofin and Eurogroup meetings took place on the 3rd and 4th December 2012, 12th and 13th, the 21st and 22nd January 2013 and the 11th and 12th February 2013. I also had a teleconference call with Mr Draghi on the 18th December 2012.

Also, arising from Ireland’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union, I represented the EU alongside Commissioner Rehn and President Draghi at the G20 Meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors in Moscow on 15 and 16 February. I had discussions with both the Commissioner and President Draghi in Moscow on both G20 and broader issues.

Sale of State Assets

Questions (69, 70)

Seán Fleming

Question:

69. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Finance the number of external consultants currently engaged by his Department providing advice in respect of the proposed sale of State assets; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2818/13]

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Seán Fleming

Question:

70. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Finance the amount of expenditure incurred in 2012 in respect of advice and preparatory work connected with the sale of State assets; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2820/13]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 69 and 70 together.

Where requested by Government, NewERA (a business unit in the NTMA) is carrying out advisory and oversight roles in relation to the possible restructuring or disposal of commercial State company assets. NewERA’s role in these disposal processes is to assist and advise the relevant Government Departments in representing the Government’s financial interests in the context of asset disposals and to ensure that Government-agreed timelines and financial objectives are clearly communicated to the relevant parties. It is also the responsibility of NewERA to ensure that the Government Steering Group overseeing the transactions is kept fully informed of progress and developments with the goal of ensuring that the financial objectives of the process are achieved.

In order to assist NewERA in its role the NTMA (acting through its NewERA unit) have currently engaged three external consultants who are providing advice in respect of various technical aspects of the proposed disposals of State assets. The NTMA (acting through its NewERA unit) incurred €43,050 in respect of external advice procured in 2012.

In relation to the sale of Irish Life, Goldman Sachs were appointed as advisors in 2011. Fees payable to Goldman Sachs for services provided (from appointment in 2011 – 2013) are being finalised. Legal advice in respect of the purchase and sale of Irish Life was provided by Matheson. An interim payment of €108,613.97 (not including VAT) was paid in January 2013. Once again fees payable to Matheson in respect of legal services are still being finalised.

Promissory Note Negotiations

Questions (71, 73, 83)

Micheál Martin

Question:

71. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Finance if he proposes to discuss the promissory note at the next EU Council meeting; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2300/13]

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Micheál Martin

Question:

73. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Finance if he has discussed the promissory note with any of the EU leaders since Ireland took over the EU Presidency; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2316/13]

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Micheál Martin

Question:

83. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Finance if he has discussed the issue of the promissory note at any of his recent bilaterals with EU leaders; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5092/13]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 71, 73 and 83 together.

The negotiations surrounding the promissory note have been conducted over several months. I took the opportunity to raise the matter with my EU colleagues whenever the opportunity was afforded me. I impressed on colleagues the importance of putting in place long-term stable funding as a means of greatly enhancing our debt sustainability. As the Deputy will be aware, the outcome was very successful from an Irish point of view.

I do not intend raising this matter at the next meeting of ECOFIN as we have reached a very satisfactory solution.

Ministerial Meetings

Question No. 73 answered with Question No. 71.

Questions (72)

Gerry Adams

Question:

72. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Finance the recent contacts he has had with European Commissioner Ollie Rehn. [2375/13]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

As Minister for Finance, I have regular contact with members of the European Commission, including Commissioner Rehn. This level of interaction has increased during the Irish Presidency of the Council of the European Union and my consequent role as Chairman of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council. It should be noted that every economics and finance minister in the European Union is a member of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council (Ecofin). Each month the Ecofin Council meets to discuss economic policy coordination, economic surveillance, monitoring of Member States' budgetary policy and public finances, financial markets and capital movements, as well as other matters. In addition, the Eurogroup - which comprises ministers of the Member States whose currency is the euro - usually meets the day before the Ecofin meeting to deal with issues relating to the Economic and Monetary Union. Commissioner Rehn is also in attendance at these meetings.

As Minister for Finance, I have regular contact with Commissioner Rehn mainly on the margins of these Eurogroup and Ecofin meetings. In the period from December 2012 to date (27 February 2013), Ecofin and Eurogroup meetings took place on the 3rd and 4th December 2012, 12th and 13th, the 21st and 22nd January 2013 and the 11th and 12th February 2013.

Arising from Ireland’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union, I represented the EU alongside Commissioner Rehn and President Draghi at the G20 Meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors in Moscow on 15 and 16 February. I had discussions with both the Commissioner and President Draghi in Moscow on both G20 and broader issues.

Commissioner Rehn also attended the Oireachtas Committee on Finance – Presidency Interparliamentary Committee which I opened last Monday, 25th February. I had a discussion with the Commissioner on a number of issues on the margins of the conference.

Question No. 73 answered with Question No. 71.