Merrill Lynch is expected to suffer $15 billion in losses stemming from soured mortgage investments, almost twice the company's original estimate, the New York Times reported on Friday.

The losses were prompting the company to raise additional capital from an outside investor, the newspaper said in a report on its Web site. Merrill is expected to disclose the huge write-down when it reports earnings next week, the New York Times said, citing people who had been briefed on the company's plans.

The loss exceeds the $12 billion hit that many Wall Street analysts had forecast, the newspaper said.

Merrill is now in talks with investors in the United States, Asia and the Middle East, including U.S. private equity firms to raise around $4 billion in coming days, the daily quoted the sources as saying.

(Reporting by Masayuki Kitano)