In Need of Cash, Banks Looking to Sell

It's a buyers market as banks unload 'everything from branches to entire units'
By Jim O'Neill,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 28, 2007 7:48 AM CST
In Need of Cash, Banks Looking to Sell
The Morgan Stanley sign is seen at their world headquarters December 19, 2007 in New York City. Morgan Stanley, America's second largest investment bank, reported a fiscal fourth-quarter loss caused by a $9.4 billion writedown from their subprime and other mortgage-related investments.   (Getty Images)

Still in need of cash, as subprime writedowns continue to maul bottom lines, US and European banks are selling off or shuttering non-critical assets. They've already sold stakes to foreign investors and borrowed from central banks; now it's time for the yard sale, as the Wall Street Journal puts it. Citigroup and the UK’s HSBC, among others, are primed to sell.

Merrill Lynch Monday booked $1.3 billion for its commercial lending business, and Morgan Stanley took part of its investment-analysis business public, raising $250 million in November. Experts say Citigroup could raise $12 billion selling small- to mid-sized units and expect HSBC to float its $13 billion US auto-loan unit. Both may struggle to find buyers in the current environment.  (Read more Citigroup stories.)

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