European Commission Approval

NAMA1 Thumbnail0The laws of the European Union prohibit the provision of any state aid which could have the effect of giving favourable treatment to certain entities and thereby distorting competition throughout the Union. Among the exemptions to the prohibition is aid designed to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy of a Member State; however, any aid contemplated under this exemption must first be given advance approval by the European Commission.

In February 2009, the Commission issued guidance about the design and implementation of asset relief schemes. This guidance informed discussions which took place with the Commission throughout much of 2009 and in the early part of 2010 about the design of the NAMA scheme and the level of state aid permissible under State Aid rules. The Commission evaluated the scheme and its implications in great detail and suggested changes to proposals in order to calibrate the level of state aid which it considered to be permissible.

On 26 February 2010, the Commission gave its formal approval to the NAMA scheme, following which, in early March 2010, the Minister for Finance published revised valuation regulations which gave effect to the valuation methodology which had been approved by the Commission. The first tranche of loans was acquired by NAMA later in the same month.

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