Citigroup Inc plans to sell Nikko Asset Management Co separately, not bundled with Nikko Cordial Securities Inc as previously speculated, the Nikkei financial daily reported.

Nikkei reported that initial bidding is expected to take place on May 1. The report said without citing sources that, of more than 10 potential Japanese and foreign bidders that Citibank has approached, Nomura Holdings Inc <8604.T> is among those that appear particularly interested in Nikko Asset.

According to the report, many financial institutions with deep enough pockets are expected to join the bidding, estimated to reach about 100 billion yen. The report said Nikko Asset has about 9 trillion yen in assets under management.

The report said that Citi planned to get the group of potential buyers down to several firms, then hold a second round of bidding, aiming to make a final selection by summer.

(Editing by Jim Marshall)