barclays1.jpgJapan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group may invest about $926 million in British bank Barclays, people familiar with the matter told Reuters, the latest in a string of subprime-hit Western lenders increasingly turning to Asia for funding. Japan’s third-largest bank is also considering a business alliance in Asia with Barclays, which is expected to raise about $8 billion from sovereign wealth funds and other investors and then offer shareholders the right to buy on the same terms. If Sumitomo Mitsui opts to invest it would give the Japanese bank a stake of just over 2 percent. Up to five outside investors are also expected to participate, and backers may include existing Singapore-based sovereign wealth fund Temasek and China Development Bank, plus the Qatar Investment Authority.

Steve Ballmer insisted Microsoft will not seek to make a spate of other Internet acquisitions (Facebook, we’re looking at you) in the wake of its failed bid for Yahoo, according to the Financial Times. “People don’t understand what they’re talking about,” Ballmer said. “At the end of the day, this is about the ad platform. This is not about just any one of the applications.” Meanwhile, over at Yahoo, a spate of executives are reported running for the hills, just as the company is trying to justify its decision to go it alone and to repel Carl Icahn’s proxy fight. Among the departed: Flickr co-creator Stuart Butterfield, whose bizarrely hilarious resignation letter could best be summed up as: “There Will Be Tin.”

The fate of the world’s largest leveraged buyout hangs in the balance ahead of Friday afternoon’s decision by the Supreme Court of Canada on whether BCE treated its bondholders unfairly in agreeing to a $34.8 billion ($34.5 billion) takeover. Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, with U.S.-based private equity firms Providence Equity Partners, Madison Dearborn Partners and Merrill Lynch Global Private Equity, are offering C$42.75 a share to take BCE, parent of Bell Canada, private.

More Deals of the Day:

** France Telecom declined to comment on a report in French paper Les Echos that it might be ready to make new concessions to improve its $41 billion cash-and-share offer for rival TeliaSonera.

** Malaysia’s second-largest lender, CIMB Bank, has agreed to buy a 42 percent stake in Thailand’s BankThai for about 5.9 billion baht ($177 million), the Bank of Thailand said on Friday.