UK/US - Zurich Financial Services is understood to have put Threadneedle Investments up for sale in a bid to raise capital after a second year of poor performance.
But industry sources believe a UK buyer looks unlikely as the FSA wants to change the way “goodwill” is shown on balance sheets.
The regulator fears fund managers are “over-estimating” the adequacy of their financial resources.
The FSA says that if goodwill is not be taken into account, it will have a clearer picture of the buyer’s financial resources.
Such a move would effectively “kill off” any attempts by any British-based fund managers to buy Threadneedle, industry figures believe.
It would instead leave the door open for a foreign firm – widely thought to be the US-giant American Express Asset Management – to buy Threadneedle without any competition.
Zurich posted a loss of US$3.4bn (£2.2bn) for 2002 and US$387m the previous year.
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