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Roundup-NAMA clears loan with huge sale
Thursday, 31st May 2012 08.15am

The National Asset Management Agency (Nama) is set to be fully repaid on loans outstanding on London's Battersea power station, which is expected to be sold to a Malaysian-led consortium.

Once the site for a 5.5 billion redevelopment by Treasury Holdings on the banks of the Thames, the property has destroyed the dreams of a succession of developers over 30 years.

Now, the Malaysian Employees Provident Fund has reportedly paid nearly 400 million for the iconic property, which dominates the London skyline.

The Treasury-created special purpose vehicle, Battersea Power Station Shareholder Vehicle, had been 54 per cent owned by a Treasury Holdings subsidiary, REO.

However, it owes 324 million to Lloyds and Nama, and 178 million to Oriental Property. The most recent valuation on the site estimated it is worth just under 500 million.

The sum on offer from the Malaysians will be enough to pay off Nama and Lloyds - the holders of the senior debt on the property. Oriental will suffer losses as the junior debt-holder.

Last night, sources with knowledge of the transaction made clear that Nama would not be offering finance to the prospective owners of the property. The Irish Times

XXXX A senior political figure who is also one of Ukraine's richest businessmen has intervened in the ongoing battle for control of a valuable shopping mall in Kiev formerly owned by the family of Sean Quinn. The first vice-prime minister of Ukraine, Valeriy Khoroshkovsky, has instructed the local judicial council to investigate a series of recent judgments by the Kiev courts that have frustrated efforts by the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation to assert control over the mall which produces an annual rent roll of approximately $10 million (E8.8 million). The IBRC successfully appointed a receiver last year to Swedish companies that owned a number of valuable properties in eastern Europe that Mr Quinn had bought for his children over the past decade and against which Anglo Irish Bank had securities. However, the efforts of the Swedish receiver to assert control over the Ukrainian company that in turn owns the mall, has been repeatedly frustrated by court rulings in Kiev. Claims by an offshore company that it is owed large sums equal to the value of the mall by the Ukrainian company, have also been entertained by the courts. The move by such a senior political figure is seen by local observers as a significant development in the battle for the high-profile asset. The IBRC has engaged a public relations company in Kiev as part of a campaign calling on the Kiev government to review the issue in light of a series of court rulings. Mr Khoroshkovsky's move follows a meeting on Tuesday of the Interdepartmental Commission on Countering Illegal Mergers and Takeovers of Companies, which he heads. The judicial council oversees the judiciary in Ukraine and hires and fires judges. Mr Khoroshkovsky also asked the interior ministry, general prosecutor's office and security service of Ukraine to put an end to extra-legal "raider" attacks on properties. The Irish Times XXXX Bank of Ireland will hold an extraordinary meeting of shareholders on June 18th to approve its role in the deal to delay the State's E3.1 billion annual cash payout on the bill for defunct lenders Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Nationwide. The Government borrowed more debt on a 13-year bond last month and issued the bonds to Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, Anglo's new name, to cover this year's E3.1 billion instalment on the State IOUs covering the bailout costs of the two lenders. The plan involved IBRC swapping the bonds for cash with Bank of Ireland, but pending the approval of shareholders the swap was completed on a temporary basis with the National Asset Management Agency for up to 90 days. Bank of Ireland issued a circular to shareholders yesterday calling the meeting. The bank said it expects to make a profit of E38.7 million on the transaction, based on an interest margin of 1.35 per cent. It plans to swap the bonds for cash at the European Central Bank. IBRC will buy back the bonds from the bank after a year. Bank of Ireland said the bonds were worth E2.99 billion last Monday. The transaction will have no impact on the bank capital; its loans to other banks would increase by E2.8 billion but would be offset by an increase of E2.8 billion in its deposits from banks. The Irish Times XXXX There was good news for the country's retailers and tourism sector yesterday as Irish Continental Group (ICG) chief executive Eamonn Rothwell said the number of British holidaymakers planning to visit Ireland this summer "looks positive" based on the level of advance bookings with the firm. Speaking following the company's annual general meeting in Dublin yesterday, Mr Rothwell said the company, whose passenger ships operate under the Irish Ferries name, has been targeting more UK holidaymakers with advertising. He said the greater strength of sterling over the euro, as well as greater advertising by Tourism Ireland, has helped to increase the attractiveness of Ireland as a holiday destination. Mr Rothwell also praised the government decision to keep the VAT rates on items such as hotel accommodation and restaurant meals at the reduced 9pc level until the end of 2013. "A lot of people book late, but it looks positive for the British tourism market this year," said Mr Rothwell. "I have a good feeling about it." The euro has fallen to a three-and-a-half-year low against sterling, which makes it much cheaper for British people to visit the Republic. Falling hotel prices are also helping to make holidays here better value. British visitors constitute the largest group among visitors to the Republic, although nationals from other countries tend to spend more. The decline in British tourists has been especially stark since 2007. The Irish Independent

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