JP Morgan plans to sell its Asian investment unit

Tim Wallace
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JP MORGAN is in the early stages of talks to sell its Global Special Opportunities Group, City A.M. understands, as part of its ongoing programme of cutting back non-core businesses.

The investment business is no longer a main focus for the giant bank in Asia, sources close to the lender said.

JP Morgan has also been selling some smaller parts of its commodities trading business around the world as well as ending some of its foreign correspondent banking services as it tries to streamline its global operations.

A person familiar with the situation said the move is not related to the Volcker Rule proposals to ban proprietary trading.

The sale is expected to raise more than $1bn (£613m). However, the source added the bank is not short of cash despite its recent spate of regulatory fines and settlements, rather that the sale fits in with the bank’s other ongoing plans.

Major private equity groups including Blackstone are thought to be interested in the unit.

No deal is expected to be agreed or completed before the first few weeks of the New Year at the very soonest.

JP Morgan declined to comment on the discussions.