Capitol Bancorp Ltd. in Lansing, Mich., continues to shed assets as its losses narrow.

The $4.2 billion-asset company had a pretax loss of $47.7 million for the third quarter, compared with losses of $55 million in the second quarter and $56.4 million a year earlier.

The loan-loss provision fell 23% from both the second quarter and a year earlier, to $34.2 million. The news was reported late Monday.

"We remain focused on accessing sources to strengthen our capital ratios, which have continued to deteriorate," said Joseph Reid, Capitol's chairman and chief executive, in a press release.

"We continue to focus on building balance-sheet strength and improving corporate-wide liquidity through a strategy of regional consolidations and selective bank divestitures," Reid said.

Capitol said it had sold $240 million of assets, including interests in three Colorado banks, since Sept. 30, and it has five more sales pending for $445 million. Five divestitures are expected to be completed by early 2011.

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