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Mitsubishi cancels Citigroup plans

TOKYO, May 16 – Japan\’s biggest bank Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group said it had cancelled its plan to buy a Japanese banking unit of US financial giant Citigroup.

Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corp., a unit of the Tokyo-based group, announced last December it agreed with Citigroup to buy all shares of NikkoCiti Trust for 25 billion yen (260 million dollars).

"Considering the change in their respective strategies, both companies concluded that it is desirable to terminate the share transfer," the two trust banks said in a statement posted on their websites.

The statement added that the two sides would "continue to build upon their existing collaborative relationships in various business areas."

The move came after Nikko Asset Management Co., also a Citigroup unit in Japan and which has close ties with NikkoCiti Trust, was expected to be sold to a company other than Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, press reports said.

The expected deal has reduced the appeal of Mitsubishi UFJ Trust\’s planned acquisition, the Jiji and Kyodo news agencies said.

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