European banks on selling binge

Europe’s largest banks are finally putting hundreds of billions of dollars of unwanted assets up for sale amid mounting competition among buyers and regulatory pressure.

A wave of deals could be a boon to the region’s economy if the banks free up capital to increase lending.

Bloomberg News reports that banks led by London-based Barclays Plc (BARC) and including UniCredit SpA in Milan and Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN) in Zurich, have shunted more businesses, bad loans and spoiled investments into units to be sold or wound down. Such assets jumped by 65% since the end of 2013, to more than $1.72 trillion.

'The list of deals coming in across the asset classes and markets at this point is higher than it’s ever been,' said Jody Gunderson, a senior managing director at CarVal Investors LLC in Minneapolis. Banks are 'driven by regulatory considerations to sell, but also market pressures for them to get back to the business of trying to produce good profits.'

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Europe Bank Cleanup Driving $1.72 Trillion of Asset Sales

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