Mitsubishi UFJ Financial ( MTU) may merge its brokerage unit with Morgan Stanley's ( MS) Japanese unit next year and hold a 60% stake in the combined entity, reports say.

The two companies will announce the merger of the brokerage units as early as this week, reports the Nikkei business daily.

If the merger is completed, it would create the nation's third-largest brokerage firm in terms of operating revenue after Nomura Holdings ( NMR) and Daiwa Securities, reports Dow Jones Newswires.

In a statement, Mitsubishi UFJ, Japan's biggest bank, said no agreement between the two companies had yet been reached and they were still in talks. A spokesman at Morgan Stanley in Tokyo declined to comment.

Mitsubishi UFJ last September invested $9 billion for a 21% stake in preferred shares in Morgan Stanley, a deal that allows the Japanese bank to convert the shares into common stock.

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