HSBC ( HBC) is seeking to raise about 3 billion euros ($3.95 billion) through the sale of three of its biggest office buildings, reports the U.K.'s Sunday Times.

The buildings include the bank's London headquarters at Canary Wharf, its French base on the Champs Elysées and offices in New York, the newspaper reports.

An HSBC spokeswoman in London said the bank is gauging interest in its 45-story tower at 8 Canada Square in London, its Fifth Avenue skyscraper in New York and the Paris offices, Bloomberg reports. The spokeswoman, in an e-mail message to Bloomberg, couldn't confirm the price.

Bloomberg reports that HSBC, Europe's largest bank, is looking to raise cash as it tries to avoid a bailout from the British government.

Real-estate firm CB Richard Ellis has been appointed to head the sale process, the Sunday Times reports. If there is insufficient interest, the sale process will be scrapped. The bank intends to sell and lease back the properties for at least 10 years, the newspaper reports.

Last week, the bank said stockholders purchased about 97% of new shares offered under a rights issue and raised about $18 billion.

HSBC announced the rights issue after reporting a 70% drop in 2008 profit. It said at the time that 6,100 jobs would be cut as it shuts down consumer loan businesses in the U.S. HSBC also said it would cut its dividend and not pay bonuses to top executives.
Copyright 2008 TheStreet.com Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.

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