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Exclusive-Credit Suisse puts up China brokerage venture for sale -sources

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By Selena Li and Engen Tham

HONG KONG/SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Credit Suisse and a joint venture partner are seeking buyers for their China securities brokerage business due to the Swiss bank’s takeover by rival UBS, said two people with direct knowledge of the matter.

Citigroup had at one point shown interest in acquiring Credit Suisse Securities China (CSS), they added.

Citi, whose CEO Jane Fraser was in China this week, is setting up a securities brokerage in China. It had hoped to fast track development via an acquisition but decided to stick to its original plan to grow the business organically, said one of the people.

UBS already has a majority-owned securities brokerage business in China. According to Chinese securities regulations, one entity cannot hold two majority-owned brokerage licenses.

Credit Suisse owns 51% of CSS and it struck a deal to buy out its partner Founder Securities last year. That transaction is yet to receive Chinese regulatory approval.

The sources asked not be identified due to the sensitivity of the matter.

UBS and a spokesperson representing both Credit Suisse and CSS declined to comment. Citi declined to comment.

Founder Securities and the China Securities Regulatory Commission did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment.

(Reporting by Selena Li in Hong Kong and Engen Tham in Shanghai; Editing by Sumeet Chatterjee and Edwina Gibbs)

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