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Citigroup plans to sell Japanese brokerage unit: report
Updated: 2009-01-19 10:20

NEW YORK  – Citigroup Inc has earmarked its Japanese retail brokerage operation, Nikko Cordial Securities, for sale, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal on Sunday.

A woman walks past a sign of Nikko Cordial Corp. outside its branch in Tokyo April 27, 2007. [Agencies] 

Citigroup, which revealed an $8.3 billion quarterly loss on Friday, said Nikko Cordial Securities, Japan's No. 3 brokerage in assets, will be categorized as a noncore asset alongside other peripheral or ailing businesses globally, the report stated.

Citigroup hadn't planned to sell the unit until the eve of its earnings. But after spinning off Smith Barney, Nikko Cordial was left as the only major retail brokerage business within the group and didn't fit into Citigroup's plans, said the report, citing people familiar with the matter.

The final decision was made by a tight cadre around Chief Executive Vikram Pandit, these people said.