LONDON -- Societe Generale said it has bought a 30% stake in Crosby Securities International Holdings Ltd. and Crosby U.S. Holdings Ltd., two entitles that control the Asian stock brokerage activities of the Hong Kong-based merchant bank Crosby Group.

Societe Generale, based in Paris, said it intends to raise its holdings in the two new companies to 49% within the next few months. Financial details were not disclosed.

Marc Vienot, chairman of Societe Generale, said the investment would expand the range of products offered by its Societe Generate Equities group.

A |Mutual Decision'

The Crosby Group's holdings include Crosby Securities, Crosby Asset Management, and a company advising Chinese enterprises on developing international links.

It was set up in 1984, and staff and management hold 85% of Crosby Securities.

The Societe Generale venture "was a mutual decision," said Justin Kendrick, managing director of Crosby Securities (Hong Kong) Ltd.

"We have felt that our growth rate has been constrained by having a relatively modest capital base, and we have had discussions with a number of financial institutions over the years."

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