TOKYO — Citigroup Inc. has decided to jettison Nikko Cordial Securities Inc. and could start accepting bids for the brokerage unit as early as this month in a move that could reshape the Japanese financial services industry, The Nikkei reported in its Tuesday morning edition.

Sources familiar with the matter say Citigroup aims to divest Nikko Cordial in stages. Japan's three megabanks - Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc., Mizuho Financial Group Inc. and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. — are expected to be the main contenders in the bidding, with the entire process possibly lasting months. The purchase price is likely to reach several hundred billion yen.

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