A government-sponsored review has said Ireland should consider selling the National Asset Management Agency, one of the world's biggest property groups, once it has made significant progress in disposing of its loans, a source familiar with the review said on Wednesday.
The report, commission by NAMA, which was created to purge Irish banks of nearly 75 billion euros (64 billion pounds) of risky land and development loans, also said the agency should consider taking loans currently managed by Bank of Ireland and Allied Irish Banks under its direct control as the banks may not have as much incentive to maximise profit, said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
NAMA lost 1.18 billion euros last year as property prices continue to drop following a bubble that was dramatically punctured by the global financial crisis.
In his budget speech on Tuesday, Finance Minister Michael Noonan said the review by former HSBC Chief Executive Michael Geoghegan was generally positive but he would create a group to advise on its future strategy following Geogheghan's recommendations.
The report is to be published later this week or next week, the Department of Finance said.
The source said the report raised the possibility that the government could sell the agency once it has completed substantial work and built up a valuable skills base.
It does not recommend a sale in the forseeable future, the source said.
The report says if banks don't manage the loans effectively, it is possible they could bring back into NAMA, the source said.
(Reporting by Conor Humphries; Editing by Carmel Crimmins and Will Waterman)