Citigroup has completed its $14 billion acquisition of Tokyo-based Nikko Cordial, Japan's third-largest brokerage, and named Douglas Peterson as its chief executive and president, replacing Shoji Kuwashima. Mr Peterson will also serve as the head of Citigroup Japan Holdings, the local unit of the New York-based bank. Nikko Cordial said the acquisition would "create Japan's leading comprehensive financial services group which covers both banking and securities businesses". The deal would also add "more value" to the Nikko brand. Citigroup has been working to streamline operations and cut costs after reporting a $10 billion loss in the fourth quarter of 2007 due to subprime mortgage-related losses. Nikko has more than 100 branches across Japan and the acquisition is expected to strengthen the US group's market position by selling mutual funds and providing other financial services. In 2004, Citigroup lost its private banking licence in Japan after authorities accused it of failing to implement safeguards against money laundering, misleading customers about investment risks and other violations. Citigroup moved to acquire Nikko Cordial, with which it had an investment banking joint venture, after the Japanese brokerage was hit by accounting problems.
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