Macquarie Bids for Citi’s Australian Unit

SYDNEY, Dec 15 (Reuters) – Macquarie Group Ltd (MQG.AX: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), Australia’s top investment bank, has bid for Citigroup’s (C.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) Australian retail stockbroking and wealth management unit, the Australian Financial Review said in an unsourced report on Monday.

The acquisition would bolster Macquarie’s position as the largest full service retail in Australia with about 430 advisers, the business daily said.

National Austraila Bank Ltd (NAB.AX: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the nation’s top lender, also had looked at the Citigroup subsidiary, called Citi Smith Barney, but the bank’s board was reluctant to proceed, the report said.

Citi Smith Barney earned A$21.4 million ($14.2 million) net profit on A$150 million revenue last financial year, according to the report. ($1=A$1.51) (Reporting by Denny Thomas;) ((; +61 2 9373 1812; Reuters Messaging: