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Citic and Credit Agricole to combine

Citic and Credit Agricole to combine

(5 May 2010 – China) China’s largest brokerage by market value, Citic Securities, and France's Credit Agricole SA are in exclusive talks to combine their global equity brokerage units and investment banking operations in Asia and have signed a memorandum of understanding. To begin, CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets, 65 percent owned by Credit Agricole, would form a Chinese joint venture with Citic Securities.

The JV with Citic Securities will help CLSA leapfrog rivals including Goldman Sachs in the world's fastest growing major economy. Partnering with CLSA may boost Citic Securities' expansion outside China.

'The two firms have a common ambition and vision to create a leading China and Asia Pacific focused broker and investment bank in order to capture growing capital market opportunities,' the banks said in the statement. The firms expect the Asia combination 'to provide a solid foundation for the build out of a unique and powerful global equity business platform,' they said.

The accord needs regulatory approval, the statement said.
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