In a move that could help the industry find a clearing price for troubled assets, Fifth Third Bancorp unloaded some of its bad real estate loans for a small profit last quarter.

The $48 million of loans were part of a $1.6 billion portfolio that had been marked down to 33 cents on the dollar last year. They were sold for an average of 35 cents on the dollar, letting the Cincinnati company book a gain of about $13 million.

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