HSBC Holdings, the world's largest banking group, is considering the sale of its world headquarters in London and office buildings in New York and Paris.
The sale is expected to generate £2.7 billion ($4 billion), which the company intends to utilise for funding of its business and expansion plans.
''We are taking a look at the market, yes. There are people interested in buying at an appropriate price,'' an HSBC spokesman said.
The landmark assets earmarked for sale include the headquarters at Canary Wharf in London, office buildings in the high-status Fifth Avenue in New York and the prestigious property at Champs Elysees in Paris.
The transactions are expected to be through a sale and lease-back arrangement which would allow the business to operate as normal with no relocation.
HSBC has appointed real estate firm CB Richard Ellis to supervise the sale process.
The company has an eye on Asian businesses put up for sale by Royal Bank of Scotland and is also eyeing the Citigroup, which is planning to move back from the Far East.
The sale plan emerged just a few months after the financial services company bought back the Canary Wharf tower for £838 million from the Spanish property developer Metrovacesa to whom it was sold for a massive £1.09 billion in mid-2007 when the property prices were at the peak, gaining a profit of £252 million.
The Spanish firm which had bought it at a record high price, failed to refinance a loan which it secured for the deal.
The banking giant amassed £12.5 billion ($18.6 billion) in March through a rights issue, the largest in British corporate history, after it reported a 62 per cent slump in pre-tax profit to $9.3 billion in 2008.
At the time, HSBC chairman Stephen Green said that additional capital would enable the bank to deal with the impact of an uncertain economic climate and indicated that HSBC may also acquire some the assets that are being shed by failing financial institutions worldwide.
The asset sale plan could take the funds raised effectively to over £15 billion.
The timing of the sale proposition has raised some concerns among investors as property prices are under pressure at all the three locations.
The global financial crisis has battered the banking sector and those affected badly have been on the lookout to raise capital to improve their balance sheets.
HSBC's tier 1 captital ratio, which is a measure of capital on the bank's balance sheet as a proportion of risk adjusted assets, is 8.3 per cent as on 31 December 2008 displaying adequate financial strength.
The concerns about the US credit market continue as the company holds a huge $100 billion loan portfolio. The company is closing down its troubled household division.
Investors are also concerned about the bank's exposure to complex traded-debt securities which were valued $18.7 billion lower than in bank's records.
The bank reported huge pre-tax losses of $15.5 billion in 2008 in North America although other regions showed profit. It wants cash to counter the losses and to add to the $53 billion the bank set aside during the last three years to cover the bad loans.
The bank has global presence with branches in 86 countries and a customer base of 128 million.