Credit Suisse bets on US property market

The New York Federal Reserve says it has sold $7 billion (SFr6.52 billion) in residential mortgage-backed assets acquired in its AIG bailout to Swiss bank Credit Suisse (CS).

This content was published on January 20, 2012 - 08:53 and agencies

The New York Fed did not disclose the amount paid for the assets, part of a special portfolio created in the 2008 rescue of the American insurance and financial services company. The assets were sold through an auction, it said in a statement.

Traders reckon that CS paid around $3.5 billion and will most likely sell them to institutional investors.

The sale had been prompted by an "unsolicited" offer from Goldman Sachs earlier in the month to buy a portion of the assets from the financial vehicle, Maiden Lane II.

The New York Fed said it had decided to move forward with the transaction “only after determining that the winning bid represented good value for the public”. 

The regional central bank reiterated that it would dispose of the remaining securities in the portfolio "individually and in segments over time as market conditions warrant" through a competitive sales process, while taking "appropriate care" to avoid market disruption.

The Federal Reserve stepped in to rescue AIG in September 2008, after worries about the company's finances sent the share price to a low of $1.25, from $56 at the beginning of the year.

The rescue involved some $140 billion in investment, loans and guarantees from the US Treasury and the central bank.

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