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Merrell: No need to generate new capital

Merrill Lynch chief Merrill Lynch chief executive John Thain sees no reason for the US financial services firm to raise further capital by returning to the equity markets, he told Japan's Nikkei newspaper.

The company has so far suffered writedowns of $22 billion during the current subprime crisis, leading to speculation that it could be sold or merged with another bank to generate fresh capital.

However, Mr Thain insisted that Merrill was securely capitalised, having raised around $12.8 billion since late 2007.

"We have plenty of capital going forward and we don't need to come back into the equity market," he told the paper.

Mr Thain refused to comment on expectations that the Wall Street giant will record losses for a third successive quarter, despite acknowledging that the credit crunch had significantly impacted upon the firm's balance sheet.

He said: "If you look at the prices of credit-related assets, mortgages, leverage loans, commercial real estate - all of those have deteriorated over the last three months," before adding: "We own all of those."