BoA to shed real estate assets

Bank of America is in exclusive talks to sell the bulk of Merrill Lynch's boom-time real estate investments to Blackstone for up to $1bn (£607m). The sale is still weeks away and would comprise between $800m and $1bn of unwanted property investments in Europe, the US and South America. The sale is part of the US bank's efforts to dispose of non-core assets to clear up its balance sheet and bolster capital ratios. BofA declined to comment, while Blackstone did not return calls.