LBG sells $1.75 billion of distressed loans

24th November 2011, Comments 0 comments

Lloyds Banking Group has sold distressed property loans in Australia and New Zealand worth US$1.75 billion to Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, the British state-rescued lender said on Thursday.

"We are delighted to conclude this sale, which is another clear action in the deleveraging of our non-core assets, freeing us to focus our time and capital on building our core business," an LBG spokesperson told AFP.

The deal, which is worth 1.31 billion euros or Aus$1.7 billion, was conducted by the group's Australian subsidiary BOS International.

Lloyds Banking Group, which is 41-percent owned by the British government after a huge bailout at the height of the global financial crisis, is seeking to offload poor-performing assets as it seeks to return to health.

The lender was sunk by Lloyds TSB's ill-fated 2008 takeover of rival bank HBOS and subsequently received a vast state bailout.

LBG is also in the final stages of a potential sale of 632 British branches which it needs to sell as a condition of state aid received in 2008 and 2009.

The process has been complicated by a leave of absence by LBG chief executive Antonio Horta-Osorio.

Lloyds said earlier this week that Horta-Osorio was making "good progress" from an illness which has forced him temporarily to stand down.

-- Dow Jones Newswires contributed to this story --

© 2011 AFP

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