Asia lukewarm on European banking asset sell-off

A combination of market and regulatory pressures is forcing European banks to deleverage their balance sheets and offload some of their asset portfolios, creating a potential opportunity for Asian financial institutions. But do they want to take it?

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European banks have been counting the cost of the prolonged eurozone crisis. With large exposures to Greek sovereign debt, highly leveraged positions and a reliance on US dollar funding, they are being forced rapidly to shrink their balance sheets and look to exit non-core capital-intensive businesses.

In addition to the negative market outlook, European banks also face higher regulatory capital levels: the last months of 2011 saw them preparing for the imposition of new trading book rules

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