Mainland conglomerate Citic Limited said on Friday it was in talks with several potential investors but they were at a “very preliminary stage”. Up to 27 potential investors participated in a placing with Citic earlier this year but no binding agreements had been entered, the company said in a regulatory filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange. On Thursday, the Wall Street Journal reported that the company was considering taking on billions of dollars in investment from two foreign companies. The report said Japanese trading company Itochu and Thai agribusiness firm Charoen Pokphand were both considering substantial investment in the Chinese company although no deal had been finalised or approved by regulators. Citic downplayed the media report, saying it engaged in discussions from time to time with a wide range of potential investors.