U.S. businesses and financial firms are taking advantage of the European sovereign debt crisis to make loans and pick up assets owned by cash-strapped regional banks, according to a report in the New York Times on Monday. An estimate from Morgan Stanley expects European financial institutions, largely under pressure from regulators, to shed up to $3 trillion in assets over the next 18 months.
An example of this, the article states, is a private company in Greece that in December saw visits from a team of three bankers from the London office of buyout group Kohlberg Kravis Roberts. KKR bankers have also been looking for deals in Spain and Portugal. Experts expect deals to jump ahead of the January deadline from the European Banking Authority for banks to raise more than €114 billion in new capital, the article said.