HONG KONG (Reuters) – China International Capital Corporation (CICC) is in very preliminary talks with China Investment Securities about strategic cooperation and business opportunities, CICC said on Monday in a bourse filing.

The CICC statement followed an earlier Bloomberg report that China’s biggest investment bank and China Investment Securities were discussing a possible merger.

In its filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange, CICC said it wished to emphasise it had not entered into any binding agreement with China Investment Securities about a possible merger and that the talks may, or may not, proceed.

CICC will continue to actively explore cooperation opportunities and engage in discussions with suitable enterprises in the industry, the bank said in the filing.

CICC was ranked second behind Morgan Stanley for China-related mergers and acquisitions (M&A) last year with an 11 percent market share, Thomson Reuters data shows.

So far this year, CICC is leading the rankings for China-involved M&A deals, partly due to the fact some foreign investment banks have scaled back operations in mainland China.

(Reporting by Meg Shen; editing by David Clarke)

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