DUBLIN (Reuters) - The liquidator selling assets left behind by collapsed Anglo Irish Bank will likely offload at least half of them before the remainder is moved to the county's "bad bank," finance minister Michael Noonan said on Wednesday.
Anglo Irish, renamed the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC) in its final years, was put into liquidation last year in a deal that released Dublin from a commitment to quickly pay off a 29 billion euro ($40 billion) debt to the bank.
The liquidators, KPMG, must either complete the sale of its assets by early this year or transfer them to the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA), the state-owned "bad bank" which is already one of the world's biggest property groups.
"The quantum that is under the control of the special liquidator is about 12.6 (billion) I think, on the special liquidators sale of assets at present, it looks as if he'll sell at least half of that, maybe more," Noonan told parliament.
"That's a rough estimate because you never know what you sell until it's actually bought, but the expectation with the level of interest there is that 6 billion of that will be bought before it's transferred to NAMA."
Ireland is still trying to put its banking industry in order after its 2008 rescue of the sector pushed it deep into debt and eventually forced it to seek help from the European Union and International Monetary Fund. Anglo Irish had run into trouble when a property bubble burst after years of reckless lending.
NAMA paid 12.9 billion euros in advance of taking on some of the IBRC loans following February's special liquidation and will be reimbursed by the state if the loans are valued independently at less than that outlay.
The special liquidator concluded bidding for the first of four packages of assets last month and said it expected to sell 84 percent of that portfolio with a par value of about 2.5 billion euros above independent valuations.
The liquidator was charged with selling loans with a total pre-provision value of 22 billion and Noonan said last month he did not expect any further calls on the state's finances over those already budgeted when the process is complete.
NAMA and Irish-based banks deleveraging their loan books have found increasing demand for assets they have recently put on the block, a trend also evident in other peripheral euro zone countries like Spain which is mulling the sale of part of its stake in bailed-out Bankia <BKIA. MC>.
($1 = 0.7306 euros)
(Reporting by Padraic Halpin. Editing by Jane Merriman)