NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Even though Bank of America ( BAC) has sold billions in assets to pay back the government bailout, the bank still has plans on trimming down by selling "non-core" businesses. "Any future subsidiary sales would not be to satisfy the TARP requirements. Bank of America has a specific strategy to streamline its model, and I would expect them to sell more," said Jefferson Harralson, an analyst at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods. The Charlotte, NC-based institution received $45 billion in assistance through the U.S. Treasury Department's Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) following the 2008 financial crisis. According to published reports last week, Bank of America told regulators that it will meet the final conditions of its TARP repayment by year's end. "They had to raise enough assets to pay back TARP and the company will continue to sell to raise capital," said Paul Miller, analyst for FBR Capital Markets. "I think they are under a couple different pressures between shareholders and the regulatory environment and this would cause them to really sell as much as they could. I think they are selling everything at a discount." Just during the third quarter of this year BofA has done several sales, including:
- The sale of the company's preferred and common shares of Itaú Unibanco Holding S.A., which generated a $1.2 billion pretax gain.
- The sale of the company's equity position in MasterCard, resulting in a pretax gain of approximately $440 million.
- An agreement to sell the company's entire 24.9 percent stake in Grupo Financiero Santander, S.A.B. de C.V. back to an affiliate of its parent company, Banco Santander (STD), in a private transaction for $2.5 billion which generated a pretax loss of $428 million.
- The sale of Columbia Management's long-term asset management business, which generated a $60 million pretax gain and resulted in a reduction in goodwill and intangibles of approximately $800 million.
- An agreement to sell a $1.9 billion portfolio of limited partnership interests in private equity funds to AXA Private Equity at a pretax loss of approximately $160 million.
Regulators may be investigating the ethics around the forced-placed insurance industry as Dodd-Frank Act gears up after a report came out that said banks were charging more for insurance than they might otherwise be charged if they sought out the insurance rates themselves. Balboa is currently the only asset Bank of America is actively selling, according to Dubrowski. He added that down the road the bank is likely to sell assets that don't affect its core business such as stakes in companies or subsidiaries. The other assets that Bank of America could sell are unannounced. Many are currently being evaluated as core or non-core, according to several bankers. Bove also added that other assets Bank of America could be considering putting on the block could be its private label credit card businesses acquired with MBNA, small systems processing businesses as well as several pieces of the Countrywide acquisition. "I know they are selling chunks of their credit card companies to banks like US Bancorp ( USB), PNC ( PNC). "US Bancorp would probably be interested in any credit assets," said FBR's Miller. Harralson believes that Bank of America is more likely to sell off pieces of Countrywide than any assets it acquired with MBNA. "The credit card business is a good business and it is a good asset generator so I don't think they would consider," he said. "I wouldn't expect large sales from the mortgage group. I think that Countrywide is core, but I think there is some capacity to sell some pieces of it." Another Bank of America asset that could be up for sale is US Trust. Bank of America has been rumored at selling off US Trust since 2009. After its sales of Columbia Asset Management, Marsico Capital Management LLC and First Republic Bank some experts are questioning if Bank of America will stay in asset management even though many agree that the bank should. "It is logical to think that Bank of America could sell off US Trust because they have been selling everything in asset management off," Bove said. "I'm hoping they have met the capital requirements and will base rebuilding their asset management business off of US Trust." "US Trust has seemed to be fairly integrated into Bank of America. I don't see it as a business that can easily be separated," Harralson said. --Written by Maria Woehr in New York. To contact the writer of this article, click here: Maria Woehr. To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/newsgirlmw. To submit a news tip, send an email to: email@example.com.
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