Five credit unions with credit card portfolios worth more than$1 million sold their card portfolios in in the first half of 2011,according to an analysis of NCUA data conducted by TRK Advisors, acard portfolio consultancy headquartered in New Hampshire.

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The consultancy reported that four of the five sales took placein the second quarter of the year and that the total balances soldfor all five equaled $62 million.

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As anemic as the sales are, the consultancy pointed out thatthey are the highest since 2009 and have already surpassed the even more anemicsales in 2010.

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“It is not yet clear if this uptick is representative ofincreasing transaction levels to come or more reflects thego-forward, lower levels of portfolio sales when compared to thehigh water marks of 2004-2007,” the consultancy observed. “In those years sales often totaledmore than 60 per year, accounting for hundreds of millions inportfolio balances.”

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Despite anecdotal indications that more credit unions have beenevaluating their portfolios with an eye toward selling them, theconsultancy noted that the current low prices for card portfoliosand the significantly smaller market has made closing salesconsiderably more difficult, the consultancy said.

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