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Asia market round up: Tokyo HQ sell-off

Shinsei Bank is to sell the headquarters building it inherited from its previous incarnation, Long-Term Credit Bank of Japan, in order to avoid booking a net loss for a second consecutive fiscal year. The ¥118 billion ($1.18 billion) sale is to a real estate fund managed by Morgan Stanley, and will help to offset the total of ¥32.5 billion of sub-prime related losses announced by the bank so far. The bank says it will rent the space for the next three years while it searches for a more cost-efficient base. This continues a recent trend of banks selling their Tokyo headquarters, with Resona announcing on March 11 that it is seeking a buyer for its Otemachi base. Meanwhile market participants wonder what Morgan Stanley knows about Tokyo property that they don’t: in addition to its participation in the Shinsei deal, the US bank bought Citi’s Shinagawa HQ in February for just over $1 billion.

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