Merrill Lynch Looks Overseas to Ease the Blow of Potential $15 Billion Writedown

New York–Merrill Lynch may post twice its original mortgage investment loss estimate–$15 billion total–triggering the firm to look overseas for investment capital, The New York Times reported Friday.The nation’s largest brokerage firm likely will disclose the writedown–larger than the $12 billion many experts had predicted–next week in its earnings report. To raise roughly $4 billion, Merrill is now talking with potential U.S., Asian and Middle Eastern investors, including American private equity firms, according to the Times.New CEO and Chairman John A. Thain already has sold a $5.6 billion stake to Temasek Holdings, administered by Singapore’s government, and Tucson-based money management firm Davis Selected Advisers.U.S. financial institutions have garnered more than $29 billion from foreign governments, according to the market research firm Dealogic.