Citigroup Inc. is pushing to complete a brokerage venture with Morgan Stanley ahead of schedule to lock in a $5.8 billion gain and bolster the argument that it does not need more capital, people familiar with the matter said.

Citi has told employees that it wants to close the deal by June 1, according to several workers, who are not authorized to discuss the matter publicly. When the deal to combine Citi's Smith Barney with Morgan Stanley's U.S. brokerage was announced in January, the companies said it would be completed in the third quarter.

Booking the gain would add to Citi's capital and may ease the concerns of federal regulators, who planned to give 19 major banking companies the results of their recent stress tests Thursday.

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