Citic Securities, China Securities dismiss report of merger plan

HONG KONG, July 2 (Reuters) - China’s largest broker Citic Securities Co Ltd and smaller rival China Securities Co Ltd (CSC) said on Thursday they were not aware of any information about a merger plan, following a media report they had agreed to a tie-up.

Bloomberg News, citing unidentified sources, reported that the Communist Party committees of both companies had agreed for Citic Securities’ parent, Citic Group, to buy a stake in CSC from state-controlled Central Huijin Investment Ltd.

That would make Citic Group the largest shareholder in CSC, China’s No.2 brokerage.

In separate filings to the Shanghai stock exchange, Citic Securities and CSC said were not aware of any information about a merger plan.

CSC also said it had not called a Communist Party committee meeting to approve such a plan.

China’s securities watchdog wants to build industry behemoths in the face of fiercer foreign competition as the country opens markets to Wall Street giants including Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse. (Reporting by Meg Shen; Editing by Mark Potter)