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Investors start chasing Europe's distressed assets

Prices rise as banks offload more loans amid ECB asset quality review

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"The market for non-core and distressed assets has become more competitive. The trend towards selling nonperforming loans has been gathering momentum." - Dermot Murphy, HSBC

London

THEY were the bank assets nobody would touch during Europe's financial crisis. Late payments on credit cards, underwater mortgages and failed loans to small businesses. Now everybody wants them.

The number of funds in the region's distressed debt market doubled to 200 in the

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