Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. said Wednesday that there was "no factual basis" to reports it had agreed to a timetable for a joint operation in Japan with Morgan Stanley.

The Nikkei Weekly, a Japanese business newspaper, reported Tuesday that Mitsubishi UFJ and Morgan Stanley had basically agreed to integrate their Japanese securities units as early as this fall; once combined, it would be the third-largest securities house in Japan.

But Mitsubishi UFJ said Wednesday that the two sides continued to discuss "a wide range of opportunities to work together in many regions globally, including the possibility of cooperating in Japan."

Mitsubishi UFJ invested $9 billion in Morgan Stanley in the fall of last year by acquiring preferred stock. Under the deal, Mitsubishi will raise its stake in the U.S. brokerage firm to around 20% in the future by converting this stock into common shares. As part of efforts to strengthen its own domestic brokerage operations, Mitsubishi UFJ had proposed an integration of these operations in Japan.

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