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Morgan Stanley strikes deal

BEIJING, Mar 4 – US banking giant Morgan Stanley has reached a deal to sell its 34.3 percent stake in investment bank China International Capital Corp., a report said Thursday, citing CICC\’s chairman.

The sale of Morgan Stanley\’s entire stake in CICC is still pending regulatory approval in China, bank chairman Li Jiange said, according to Dow Jones Newswires.

"Our board has approved the buyers of the stake held by Morgan Stanley," Li told Dow Jones.

"We have already submitted our application to the regulator for approval and the timing of the actual sale depends on the government\’s timetable."

Li declined to give further details of the deal, including the names of the potential buyers.

He made the comments on the sidelines of the annual session of the Chinese People\’s Political Consultative Conference, a legislative advisory body.

Representatives from CICC and Morgan Stanley in Hong Kong were not immediately available for comment.

Last week, a source familiar with the deal told AFP that Morgan Stanley would sell the stake in CICC to US private equity firms Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co and TPG Capital for an estimated one billion dollars.

CICC is a 1995 joint venture between China Construction Bank Corporation and Morgan Stanley, which is expected to exit the venture with a windfall profit as it only paid about 35 million dollars for the stake.

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The US banking giant has been eager to pursue a new securities venture in China but securities regulators said it had to first give up its CICC stake, reports have said.

The US bank wants to pursue a new joint venture with China Fortune Securities, a Chinese brokerage, the Financial Times reported last month.

Morgan Stanley first sought the sale of its CICC investment two years ago before abandoning the effort amid uncertain markets and disagreements with its Chinese partner, the newspaper said.

China Investment Corp., China\’s sovereign investment fund, invested five billion dollars in Morgan Stanley in late 2007.

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