SHANGHAI China's securities regulator has started to review Morgan Stanley's (MS.N) application to sell its roughly $1 billion stake in Chinese investment bank China International Capital Corp (CICC), state media reported on Monday.
If the application process goes smoothly, Morgan Stanley could obtain regulatory approval to sell its 34.3 percent stake in CICC within around three months, the official Shanghai Securities News said, citing unnamed sources.
The bank paid just $37 million for its piece of CICC when the Chinese bank was founded more than a decade ago.
CICC Chairman Li Jiange said in March that Morgan Stanley had already found buyers for its stake in CICC, and that the deal was awaiting regulatory approval.
Sources with knowledge of the deal told Reuters in February that private equity firms KKR KKR.UL and TPG TPG.UL were in late-stage talks to buy Morgan Stanley's stake in CICC for more than $1 billion.
Morgan Stanley has been exploring a sale of its stake in CICC, one of China's leading investment banks, for more than two years. A sale would allow the New York lender to pursue other joint ventures.
Morgan Stanley will apply to set up a new venture with China Fortune Securities Co once it gets regulatory approval to exit CICC, the Shanghai Securities News said.
(Reporting by Samuel Shen and Jason Subler; Editing by Ken Wills)