Uncertainty over Quinn Insurance triggers new provision

Anglo Irish Bank has set aside a further €700m, on top of an existing €1bn provision, for potential losses on loans to Irish businessman Sean Quinn, The Irish Times reports.

The paper said the provision was included in Anglo's record half-year loss of €8.2bn and had been triggered amid uncertainty over the future of Quinn Insurance, the most profitable part of Sean Quinn's Quinn Group.

Quinn Insurance was put into administration in March after the financial regulator expressed concern about the firm's ability to cover its liabilities.

The Irish Times said Anglo may have to set aside a further €500m for its exposure to Quinn but this would be the extent of the write-off as the bank has security worth about €600m over Quinn's international property portfolio. The Quinn Group owes Anglo Irish €2.8bn.

Quinn Insurance is currently up for sale and Anglo has expressed an interest in taking control of the company to ensure the long-term repayment of the Quinn loans. However the bank is one of a number of parties eager to take over the firm.

Quinn has said that his family would be able to repay the loans within seven years if the insurer remained within the control of the family and his group.