Sunday, November 30, 2008

Report: Citigroup to sell Japan trust banking unit

Report: Citigroup to sell trust banking unit in Japan as part of restructuring

TOKYO (AP) -- Citigroup Inc. plans to sell its Japanese trust banking unit as the ailing U.S. banking giant struggles to survive the global financial crisis, media reports said Sunday.

Citigroup plans to begin tender offers next week to determine the buyer of NikkoCiti Trust and Banking Corp., its trust banking operation in Japan, for about 40 billion yen ($416.7 million), the Nikkei business newspaper reported.

Several major Japanese trust banks, including Mitsubishi UFJ Trust & Banking Corp., Sumitomo Trust & Banking Co. and Mizuho Trust & Banking Co., are expected to place their bids, the Nikkei said, without citing sources.

Officials at Nikko Citigroup and NikkoCiti Trust were not available for comment Sunday.

Citigroup also plans to cut jobs through early retirements at its Japanese brokerage unit Nikko Cordial Securities Inc., and to further trim its Japan operations, the Nikkei said.

Citigroup is among U.S. banks hardest hit by the downturn in the credit and mortgage markets. The bank has been rushing to wind down its assets backed by risky debt.

Citigroup said earlier this month it planned to cut 53,000 jobs, on top of 22,000 cuts previously announced. It also sold off its retail banking unit in Germany.


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