Ireland's National Asset Management Agency (NAMA)- the government body created last year in response to the Irish financial crisis and the deflation of the Irish property bubble will take over 70 hotels in Ireland it has been revealed.

NAMA functions as a bad bank, acquiring property development loans from Irish banks in return for government bonds, mainly with a view to improving the availability of credit in the Irish economy.

Minister for Tourism, Mary Hanafin, said on Thursday that up to 70 hotels are expected to be transferred to NAMA in the recovery effort.

Hanafin said that NAMA has no intention of selling the properties immediately.

To date NAMA has taken over loans from 35 hotels.

“It now appears that it will only control between 60 and 70 hotels,” said the Minister.

Hanafin, who met with the Irish Hotels Federation to explain the process, also added that NAMA has not subsidised any of the hotels and does not plan to do so.

The Minister also said that Nama “will not depress the market by selling them off immediately, and it is anxious to take advice on the public policy issue of the range and categories of hotels needed”.

She added that it “has begun its engagement with borrowers in relation to business plans on a case by case basis”.