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Citi May Sell Japan Consumer Unit: Report

Citigroup is considering selling its Japanese consumer finance company CFJ KK or cutting the unit's business significantly as part of its plans to shed assets, Japanese daily Nikkei reported on Sunday.

The biggest U.S. bank is aiming to unload $400 billion of assets within three years after being hit hard by flagging mortgage and credit markets.

As part of the move, it is considering selling its Japanese consumer finance unit, although it is unclear if the bank can quickly finalize a deal and may thus resort to reducing operations first instead, the Nikkei said.

CFJ has the fifth-biggest transaction value in Japan's consumer finance industry but its business has struggled since a 2006 revision to a moneylending law.

Citigroup is not expected to sell its Japanese securities units, including Nikko Cordial, the Nikkei added.

The bank completed its acquisition of Nikko Cordial, Japan's third-largest brokerage, earlier this year, giving it full control of about 100 brokerage outlets and a name well-known to investors.