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Last Updated: Wednesday, 14 March 2007, 11:09 GMT
Japan broker boosted by US offer
Nikko Cordial headquarters in Tokyo
Citigroup wants to take a majority stake in the firm
Shares in Japanese brokerage Nikko Cordial jumped by more than 6% after US banking giant Citigroup raised its takeover offer for the firm.

The rise in Nikko shares bucked an overall slide in Japanese stocks, sparked by overnight losses in the US.

Citigroup said on Tuesday it was sweetening its bid for Nikko by 26% to $13bn (6.7bn).

If it goes ahead, the deal would be the biggest takeover of a Japanese firm by a non-Japanese company.

Shares in Nikko went untraded for most of the day under a flood of buy orders, before closing at 1,690 yen.

"Some of Nikko's major shareholders may not agree to the takeover," said Goldman Sachs analyst Takehito Yamanaka.

"There is a possibility that Citigroup could raise its offer price further, but we believe the likelihood has decreased in comparison with the time of the last announcement."

Citigroup said it wanted to take a majority stake in the firm, and hoped to achieve a complete buyout.

Nikko Cordial has been tainted with scandal and faces possible delisting from the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

The threat follows Nikko admitting it had exaggerated its profits for the year to March 2005.

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