Citi Says Bid for Nikko is Fair; Citi Also Eying Growth in China

Includes: C, NIKOY
by: Steven Towns

Nikko Cordial's ordinary shares lost 0.3% to ¥1,685, coming within one yen intra-day of the ¥1,700 bid Citigroup announced Tuesday. Individual shareholders seem to have been locking in profits following a news conference where Citi-Japan's CEO said, "Our price is full and it's fair and it's firm. It will not be raised." Citigroup-C-Nikko-Cordial-NIKOY-chart-03-14-07 Three of Nikko's four largest shareholders have previously said Nikko is worth more than ¥2,000/share, but they have not commented on Citi's latest bid, which is 26% higher than its original bid of ¥1,350/share. Nikko has approved Citi's bid, which expires on April 26. Separately, The Wall Street Journal reports Citi has plans to increase its staff in China by 25% to 4,000, as it "plans to open new branches and subsidiaries, as many as possible, this year, though it will rely on the China Bank Regulatory Commission's approval," according to Citi-China's CEO. Citi also wants to purchase a larger stake in Pudong Development Bank, eventually up to the 19.9% limit. It currently owns a 3.78% stake.

Sources: Press release, Reuters, The Wall Street Journal
Commentary: Citi Boosts Bid for Nikko Cordial by 26%Nikko Cordial Keeps TSE Listing: Bad News for Citigroup?Citi's Bid for Nikko Could Be Stalled as Tokyo Exchange Keeps Nikko's Listing
Stocks/ETFs to watch: Citigroup (NYSE:C), Nikko Cordial (OTC:NIKOY), Mizuho Financial Group (NYSE:MFG).
Competitors: Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (NYSE:MTU), ABN Amro Holding N.V. (ABN), Nomura Holdings (NYSE:NMR). ETFs: iShares S&P Global Financial Index Fund (NYSEARCA:IXG), iShares Dow Jones US Financial Services (NYSEARCA:IYG), Financial Select Sector SPDR (NYSEARCA:XLF)

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