In response to the Sunday Times piece i’ve established that the Irish equivalent of the Debt Management Office – the NTMA – did indeed meet Libyan authorities last December but that it was at the request of the Sovereign Wealth Fund and not as the Sunday Times suggests under orders from the Dept of Finance.
The meeting discussed ways the Libyan SWF might be able to invest in Ireland and Irish companies – including their beleaguered banks.
NTMA officials also met with a number of Arab SWFs including Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Bahrain. Nothing further has come from any of those meetings.
Talks with Arab SWFs are on ice for now for obvious revolutionary reasons and the fact that there is an Interregnum in Dublin for the next 2 weeks anyway.
The NTMA and its subsidiary NAMA (which is the bad bank vehicle for all those failed investments by large developers and their all but nationalised banks) gets its mandate and instructions from the Irish Minister for Finance and it’s possible that a new Fine Gael led admin may wish to change that mandate – though it’s highly unlikely. To quote one Fine Gael politician: “it’s impossible to unscramble an egg”