Citigroup seeks bidders for Japan unit: report | india | Hindustan Times
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Citigroup seeks bidders for Japan unit: report

Citigroup Inc is seeking bidders for its Japanese brokerage unit, Nikko Cordial Securities Inc, in a deal worth several billion dollars just a year after acquiring it, a news report said on Tuesday.

india Updated: Feb 03, 2009 09:57 IST

Citigroup Inc is seeking bidders for its Japanese brokerage unit, Nikko Cordial Securities Inc, in a deal worth several billion dollars just a year after acquiring it, a news report said on Tuesday.

Quoting unnamed sources, The Nikkei, Japan's top business newspaper, said the nation's top three banks are expected to place their bids to buy Nikko Cordial. The brokerage manages assets worth 25 trillion yen ($280 billion) with 111 branches across the nation. The three expected bidders include Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc, Mizuho Financial Group Inc and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. The paper said auctioning Nikko Cordial could take place as early as the end of February.

A spokesman for Nikko Cordial declined to comment on the report. Takashi Takeuchi, a spokesman for Mitsubishi UFJ, also declined to comment. Spokespersons for the two other banks refrained from commenting.

Citigroup finalized its acquisition of Nikko Cordial in January 2008, although the process began in April 2007.

Last month, Citigroup reported a fourth-quarter loss of $8.29 billion _ its fifth straight quarterly deficit _ and announced that it would be splitting into two parts. One portion, Citicorp, will focus on traditional banking around the world, while the other, Citi Holdings, will manage the company's riskier assets and tougher-to-run ventures.

The once-mighty banking giant is saddled with heavy losses and a shriveled stock price due to the global financial crisis.