Synovus Financial (SNV) in Columbus, Ga., has sold roughly $530 million of problem assets and expects to take a pretax charge of $155 million tied to the move.

This sale included about $400 million in nonperforming assets, $110 million in loans rated accruing substandard and $20 million in loans rated special mention, the $25.5 billion-asset company said Thursday.

"The sale . . . is an important and strategic step in our continued efforts to further strengthen our balance sheet, improve asset quality, and enhance future earnings" Kessel D. Stelling, the company's chairman and chief executive, said in a press release.

Synovus reconfirmed that it could reverse substantially all of its deferred-tax asset valuation allowance as early as this quarter and no later than the second quarter of next year. At Sept. 30, that asset totaled $787 million.

A DTA reversal should position Synovus to repay its funds from the Troubled Asset Relief Program, possibly as early as the second quarter and no later than the end of 2013, the company said. The company had received $967.9 million in December 2008 under the program.

Synovus' third-quarter earnings rose more than 2% from a year earlier, to $16 million, as credit costs fell and nonperforming loans declined.

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