Citigroup (C.NYSE, 8710.TYO) and China’s Orient Securities are close to forming a joint venture that will allow Citigroup to strengthen its presence in the country’s capital markets, the Financial Times reported. The partnership would provide Citigroup a platform to underwrite stock and bond issues in China. Several similar deals have been made in recent months, as the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.NYSE, RBS.LSE) launched a Chinese joint venture on Monday, and Morgan Stanley (MS.NYSE) and JPMorgan (JPM.NYSE) both received approval for such businesses in January. According to Chinese law, Citigroup would be allowed to hold a one-third stake, with the remainder controlled by Orient Securities. The deal with the Shanghai-based group could be formally announced as early as Thursday.