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Citi Agrees To Divest Nikko Stake

Vanessa Doctor Asia Editor 2 August 2009

Citi Agrees To Divest Nikko Stake

Citigroup has agreed to divest its entire stake in Nikko Asset Management to Japan's  fifth largest bank, Sumitomo Trust & Banking for 75.6 billion yen ($795 million). The acquisition, slated for October this year, is part of the banking conglomerate's plan to let go of its non-core assets.

In a statement, Citi chief executive Vikram Pandit said that the sale allows the company to focus on strengthening its core businesses and to better serve its clients. Citigroup owns a 64 per cent holding in Nikko.

The announcement comes following Mr Pandit's Monday statement on Citi's continued commitment to expand in the Asia Pacific region. It also comes shortly after the bank sold its NikkoCiti Trust and Banking Corp unit to Japanese brokerage firm Nomura Holdings Inc for 19 billion yen in early July.

Citigroup is 34 per cent-owned by the US government. On 30 July, it completed a $60 billion swap with the US Treasury, which saw the conversion of the government's $25 billion preferred shares into a 34 per cent ownership of the bank.

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