LONDON -- Citicorp and Chase Manhattan Corp. moved Closer Wednesday to significant sales of European holdings.

Citicorp neared an agreement to sell its Italian subsidiary, Citibank Italia, while Chase said it was negotiating the sale of European leasing operations with assets of about $500 million.

Italy's stock market suspended trading in Citibank Italia, which has assets of about $2 billion and a 52-branch network, pending clarification of reports of the impending sale.

Senior Italian banking sources said Citicorp has virtually agreed in principle to make the sale to Banco Ambrosiano Veneto, Italy's largest private banking group, for cash and stock worth $290 million.

Chase, continuing its European retreat, is discussing the sale of leasing assets with a "number of parties," a spokesman said in London. He declined to give further details.

The London-based leasing operations cover five countries and have 80 employees.

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