Citigroup has shortlisted several Japanese firms for purchase of the US banking giant’s retail operations in Japan, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people with knowledge of the matter.
Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. and Shinsei Bank Ltd. have passed the first round and were shortlisted Friday, the report said.
Citi put its 33-branch Japanese retail bank, which has deposits of about US$36 billion, on the block last month. It aims to select a buyer by early next year.
The US group may sell its Diners Club-branded credit-card unit in Japan along with its retail bank, a source was quoted as saying. Citi was seeking a price of about 30 billion yen (US$275.6 million), though some bids came below that, the person said.
A sale of the retail unit would leave Citi to focus on its remaining businesses in Japan: corporate banking, transactions, investment banking and trading, the Journal noted.
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