By Laura Noonan
LONDON Nov 19 British banking group Lloyds
has taken a 90 percent loss on 1.47 billion pounds
($2.3 billion) of troubled Irish real estate loans after selling
them to Apollo Global Management.
The sale for 149 million pounds will not have a material
impact because the value of the loans had been largely written
down previously, Lloyds said on Monday.
The end of a property market bubble in Ireland saw
commercial real estates prices fall two thirds.
Lloyds has provided for losses of 66.8 percent on its
troubled Irish wholesale loans book - which would have included
the loans just sold, its first-half results showed. The rate for
the loans sold on Monday was higher than that average, it said.
A spokesman would not say whether the provisions taken on
the 1.47 billion pound portfolio were as high as the discount
given to the buyer.
U.S. firm Apollo would not comment on the deal.
Lloyds, which traded under the Halifax brand in Ireland, has
pulled out of the country and has been using a third party set
up by its former Irish management to work out the remaining loan
It shrunk its Irish loan book by 1.9 billion pounds in the
first half largely as a result of disposals. After that, Lloyds
had 16.1 billion pounds of wholesale, largely property-related
Irish loans and 6.7 billion of retail loans - mostly mortgages.
The Irish loan book was cut by another 1.1 billion pounds in
the third quarter, Lloyds said in a Nov. 1 trading update.
Royal Bank of Scotland's Ulster Bank has also sold
off sizable portfolios of Irish loans, while Ireland's National
Asset Management Agency, a so-called bad bank, is keen to find
buyers for loans on its books.
Created to purge banks of 74 billion euros of
property-related loans, NAMA is one of the world's largest
property groups having acquired assets ranging from London
skyscrapers to Irish farmland.