I propose to take Questions Nos. 70 and 71 together.
As the deputy is aware, NAMA has acquired loans from the five participating institutions and is not the owner/manager of properties. The Agency’s role is that of a secured lender. Properties securing NAMA’s loans continue to be owned and managed by their existing owners or, in the case of enforcement, on their behalf by duly appointed insolvency practitioners. I am advised by NAMA that there are NAMA debtors and appointed insolvency practitioners who own/manage properties which are leased to State Agencies and who derive income from them. The properties are leased to the State by these debtors/appointed insolvency practitioners on an arms-length basis. NAMA has no legal role in relation to the contracts between property owners/appointed insolvency practitioners and third parties. Any discussion on rent reviews is a matter between for the property owner/appointed insolvency practitioner and the tenant, and these discussions will be dealt with on a commercial basis and in accordance with the NAMA Guidelines. The Deputy is aware that NAMA, in its role as secured lender, is agreeing rent abatements through its debtors and insolvency practitioners to support small businesses around the country that are struggling to survive because of the current economic environment.
NAMA advises that the income arising from the rental by state bodies of approximately 82 NAMA debtor and insolvency practitioner properties is of the order of €30 million per annum. NAMA advises that 48 properties are located in Dublin and the neighbouring counties of Wicklow, Kildare and Meath; these account for 76% of total rental income. There are 24 properties located in counties Limerick, Cork and Galway and these account for a further 21% of total income. The residual properties are located throughout the rest of Ireland and account for 3% of rental income. The further breakdown by number and county sought by the Deputy would lead to the identification of specific properties, breaching Sections 99 and 202 of the NAMA Act, under which NAMA is prohibited from disclosing confidential details relating to its debtors or their properties, and the obligation on its debtors and insolvency practitioners to uphold the confidentiality of agreements entered into with third parties. In addition, details regarding the terms and duration of individual leases cannot be divulged for reason of commercial sensitivity.
The Deputy is aware that NAMA’s mandate is to achieve the best possible return for the taxpayer from the management and sale of its acquired bank assets and that the NAMA Board has a mandate to independently frame its decisions in this context. Given the independence afforded to NAMA by the NAMA Act, I have no role as Minister for Finance in relation to strategies applied by NAMA to maximise income generation from individual assets securing its loans and to ensure that interest and principal on the debt are repaid by a debtor.