Haitong Securities is in discussions to buy Taifook Securities Group for close to US$450 million, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the situation. Haitong reportedly hopes to buy the Hong Kong brokerage from NWS Holdings, which has been trying to sell its 61.87% stake. Haitong expects to pay HK$5 (US$0.65) per share for Taifook, a 3% premium on the company’s closing price on Friday. The deal would be the first purchase of a Hong Kong brokerage by a mainland brokerage. NWS is said to have spoken with Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and China Construction Bank about acquiring the stake, but Haitong Securities has shown greater interest.