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Barclays Sells $12.3bn of Assets to Protium Finance

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Barclays is selling $12.3bn of assets to Protium Finance, a fund that purchases and manages credit market assets to benefit from long-term cash flows. Protium buys Barclays' assets through a $12.6bn loan provided by Barclays and $450m of additional funds from Protium's partners. The assets include $1.8bn of residential mortgage assets, $2.3bn of residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) and other asset-backed securities (ABS) assets and $8.2bn of assets insured by monolines. The assets remain on Barclays' balance sheet for regulatory purposes, so the transaction will not reduce the regulatory capital requirement for the assets. The transaction is part of a move by Barclays to "manage down" its credit market exposures as it seeks to protect the interests of its shareholders. Barclays Capital acted as advisor to Barclays on the transaction. Chris Lucas, group finance director at Barclays, said in a company statement the transaction "represents a good opportunity to create greater predictability of income and economic capital utilization." Lucas added: “We are not seeking through the transaction to effect a change to our underlying credit risk profile. But we are restructuring a significant tranche of credit market exposures in a way that we expect will secure more stable risk-adjusted returns for shareholders over time." Write to Diana Golobay.

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