Irish 'bad bank' to hand state 1.5 billion euro surplus in 2021 - minister

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Ireland’s state-run “bad bank” is expected to pay a 1.5 billion euro surplus to the government next year, the second instalment of a total surplus it hopes will top 4 billion euros, Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe said on Thursday.

The National Asset Management Agency (NAMA), established in 2009 during a crash that halved Irish property values, used 32 billion euros of debt to rid Ireland’s mostly nationalised banks of risky property loans with a face value of 74 billion euros.

It paid a 2 billion euro surplus to the state earlier this year that partly offset Ireland’s growing budget deficit, which could reach 30 billion euros this year as a result of the economic damage from the COVID-19 crisis.

Donohoe said the second NAMA surplus would be by far the biggest one-off payment the government expects to receive next year, when the deficit is currently forecast to fall to between 15 and 19 billion euros.

Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Catherine Evans