China International Capital Corp (CICC) <3908.HK> and China Investment Securities are in advanced talks about the merger of the two companies, two sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Friday.
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Earlier on Friday, CICC halted its shares from trading saying that move was pending an announcement of "a very substantial acquisition", without elaborating.
Chinese newspaper 21st Century Business Herald reported late on Thursday the merger between CICC and China Investment Securities has been approved by "senior leadership".
Shenzhen-based China Investment Securities is 100 percent owned by Central Huijin Investment Ltd, a unit of China's sovereign wealth fund China Investment Corp (CIC) [CIC.UL], according to the brokerage's website.
Founded in 1995, CICC was part-owned by Morgan Stanley till the Wall Street bank sold its 34.3 percent stake in 2010 to a consortium that included KKR & Co and TPG Capital [TPG.UL]. Central Huijin owns about 28.45 percent of CICC.
CICC declined to comment further than what it said in the stock exchange announcement, while China Investment Securities could not be reached immediately for a comment. The sources declined to be identified as the discussions are confidential.
(Reporting by Julie Zhu; Editing by Denny Thomas and Muralikumar Anantharaman)