Nugget: Fairfax aquires 35% of Bank of Ireland

From an interesting article in The Globe and Mail:

“Fairfax sent a team to Dublin about two weeks ago to comb through the bank’s loan books and question its credit people. Mr. Watsa met with the bank’s management, and came away believing that, with a recapitalization, Bank of Ireland chief executive officer Richie Boucher would be able to turn the bank around.

Fairfax’s team was left with the impression that the bank has taken larger writedowns in its portfolio of troubled real estate assets than even a worst case scenario would likely suggest, while the recapitalization plan should boost the bank’s Tier 1 capital level to a strong 15 per cent. The bank had been running its property portfolio through scenarios based on what happened in Nevada, the state hit hardest by the U.S. real estate crisis.”

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