Friday, March 30, 2012

Ireland for sale

As strong reactions to the post on Ireland continue to come in, here is something else to consider. Ireland's infrastructure is now for sale. The first set of assets that are being sold are of course the commercial real estate properties that got Irish banks (and the government) into trouble to begin with. The bankrupt property developers have turned the keys over to the banks who passed them on to the National Asset Management Agency (Nama) as part of the "bad bank" bailout program. And the sales must happen quickly.
Bloomberg: The Dublin-based asset manager must sell 9 billion euros of property loans and real estate to meet a 7.5 billion-euro debt- repayment goal by the end of 2013, Chief Executive Officer Brendan McDonagh said in an October interview.
But there is more than real estate properties for sale. The state's share of Aer Lingus for example is being shopped around. Seeing opportunities in Ireland's infrastructure, which is also on the auction block, China now moves in. Cheap infrastructure has always been interesting for the Chinese and Ireland is no exception.
People's Daily: "There are enough opportunities for Chinese companies to invest in infrastructure in Ireland. We have a lot of infrastructure that is publicly owned, and part of it is going to be sold in the next two to three years," said O'Leary.

"They (the assets) are valued at 3 billion euros ($4 billion), including energy, gas, electricity, ports, roads and water," he added.
The sale is on and everything must go.
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