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China's Citic Securities to buy CLSA for $1.25 bln
by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) July 23, 2012


Citic Securities, China's top brokerage firm, will buy CLSA from Credit Agricole SA of France for $1.25 billion, in the latest move by a Chinese company to acquire assets of troubled European firms.

State-owned Citic Securities completed the acquisition of 19.9 percent of Hong Kong-based brokerage CLSA for $310.3 million, the company said in a statement filed with the Shanghai stock exchange on Saturday.

Citic Securities aims to take the remaining 80.1 percent in CLSA for $941.7 million by the end of June next year pending regulatory and shareholder approvals, it said.

"The investment in CLSA will enable Citic Securities to partner its strong franchise in China with CLSA's established global clientele and bring capital market products and services from China to international clients," Wang Dongming, chairman of Citic Securities, said in a separate statement Friday.

Credit Agricole also announced the deal.

The value of assets under management by Citic Securities is 62 billion yuan ($9.7 billion), the largest in China, according to the company.

The deal is the latest move by Chinese companies to tap the global market by taking advantage of the woes of debt-laden European economies.

Credit Agricole, one of the world's largest financial institutions, reported in May a 75-percent drop in first-quarter net profit, as a result of its exposure to the Greek debt crisis.

Hydroelectric project manager China Three Gorges in December beat competitors to take a 21.35 percent stake in Energias de Portugal, paying 2.7 billion euros ($3.3 billion) as Portugal sold assets to bolster state coffers.

In January, Chinese construction equipment giant Sany Heavy Industry acquired Putzmeister, a German family-owned engineering firm for an undisclosed sum.

China Investment Corp, the country's $400-billion sovereign wealth fund set up in 2007 to invest some of China's huge foreign exchange stockpiles, bought 8.68 percent of British utility Thames Water in the same month.

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