* Second of four portfolios sold above initial valuations
* Bodes well for success of liquidation - finance minister
DUBLIN, Feb 26 (Reuters) - Liquidators appointed to Anglo Irish Bank have sold a second portfolio of loans held by the collapsed lender with a par value of 7.3 billion euros ($10 billion), removing another contingent liability from the state’s finances.
Nationalised Anglo Irish, renamed the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC) in 2011, was put into liquidation last year in a deal that released Dublin from a commitment to quickly pay off a 29 billion euro debt incurred by the bank.
The liquidators, KPMG, must either complete the sale of its assets by early this year or transfer them to the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA), the state-owned “bad bank” that is already one of the world’s biggest property groups.
Ireland, which completed an EU/IMF bailout late last year but still has one of the highest debt levels in the euro zone, will have to cover any losses NAMA incurs over its lifetime.
That means increased demand from abroad for Irish-owned assets comes as a timely boost.
‘Projects Rock & Salt’, the second of four IBRC portfolios up for grabs, was sold in its entirety to investors including Lone Star and a consortium of Sankaty Advisors and Canyon Capital Advisors, the liquidators said in a statement.
The portfolio, made up mostly of UK commercial real estate loans, was sold above initial valuations, which were not specified.
The liquidators offloaded 84 percent of the first 2.5 billion euro portfolio in December, also at prices above independent valuations.
Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan said last month that the liquidators would likely offload at least half of the IBRC assets before the remainder is moved to NAMA and that he did not expect any further calls on the state’s finances above those already budgeted for.
“The sale of this entire portfolio on top of the success of the Project Evergreen sale late last year will considerably reduce the amount of assets that are now expected to transfer to NAMA and bodes well for the ultimate success of the liquidation,” Noonan said in a statement on Wednesday.