Impairment Loss with Irish Banks Hurts NPRF

According to the Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General, “the National Pension Reserve Fund (NPRF) was valued at €22.7 billion at the end of 2010.

Up to the end of 2010, the NPRF had invested, pursuant to directions from the Minister for Finance, an aggregate of €11.35 billion in Ireland’s two main banks, Allied Irish Banks plc and Bank of Ireland. This included reinvestment of €0.53 billion of dividends received in the form of ordinary shares.

At the end of 2010, as a result of an impairment loss of €3.7 billion, the value of these directed investments had fallen to €7.6 billion.

In 2011, the value of the directed investments has been further impaired. By the end of July 2011, the value of ordinary shares held as part of the investments had fallen from the end-December 2010 values by 67% (Allied Irish Banks plc) and 72% (Bank of Ireland).

In 2011, the NPRF has reinvested a €288 million dividend received in the form of ordinary shares from Allied Irish Banks plc and has liquidated €10 billion of assets in its discretionary portfolio. The NPRF deposited this cash in Irish commercial banks pending further direction from the Minister for Finance.

In July 2011, the Minister for Finance directed that the €10 billion be invested in Allied Irish Banks plc and Bank of Ireland and that the NPRF sell shares to the value of €1.05 billion in Bank of Ireland to a group of institutional investors.”

Source: Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General

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