Print this article

Citi Denies Reports Of Nikko Cordial Sale

Nick Parmee

19 January 2009

Citigroup has reaffirmed its commitment to its Japanese brokerage unit Nikko Cordial Securities, denying media reports that the division is on the market as Citigroup divides in two to rebuild capital.

Citigroup “remains committed to maximizing the value of Nikko Cordial over the next few years,” the New York-based bank said in an emailed statement according to media reports. Citi plans to keep Nikko Cordial, acquired a year ago, for at least another year, two company officials with knowledge of the matter said, declining to be identified.

Citigroup paid about 1.6 trillion yen ($18 billion) but this value will have plummeted in the current credit crisis.

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Services, Japan’s largest lender, has denied a newspaper report that it is seeking to buy Nikko Cordial.

An analyst at Nomura said: “It would be difficult for one of Japan’s big banks to buy Nikko Cordial with available cash. If they did want to buy it, they would have to get it cheap.”

“Nikko Cordial is an outstanding business with an excellent business model and a strong market position,” Citigroup said in a statement emailed to Bloomberg News.