Citic Securities, China’s largest brokerage by assets, plans to form an investment banking and brokerage alliance with French bank Credit Agricole, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing persons familiar with the matter. The two companies were expected to sign an memorandum of understanding yesterday, according to the source. The deal is a fresh attempt by Citic Securities to internationalize. Its previous attempt to invest US$1 billion in Bear Stearns was abandoned after the bank lost value during the financial crisis and was absorbed into J.P. Morgan Chase. For Credit Agricole, the deal would provide improved access to China’s capital market. The China Securities Regulatory Commission had yet to approve the deal as of last Sunday, but Citic Securities shares have been suspended from trading since Friday.
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