Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland property loans sold to US private equity fund Cerberus

Royal Bank of Scotland has sold loans related to Northern Ireland properties to the US private equity fund Cerberus.

It is part of a wider deal worth £1.1bn, the bank told the stock market on Tuesday.

The so-called Project Aran portfolio consists of around 5,000 properties, mainly in the Republic of Ireland.

However, around 20% of the loans relate to Northern Ireland. The value of the loans bought by Cerberus had been previously written down by RBS.

The portfolio made a loss of £800m in 2013, mainly due to provisions for bad loans.

RBS is the parent company of Ulster Bank, which is the largest bank in Northern Ireland and the third biggest in the Republic of Ireland.

It announced in October that it was retaining control of Ulster Bank, following a review that considered selling off its business in the Republic of Ireland.

Cerberus previously bought the entire Northern Ireland loan portfolio of the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA).

In a separate deal, Cerberus announced on Tuesday that it had also bought a £1.2bn portfolio of mostly non-performing commercial property loans from National Australia Bank (NAB).

It is part of the Australian bank's plan to leave its UK operations, where it has endured big losses at its Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank businesses.

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