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Nov 9, 2012

Japan’s big banks expand into global aircraft financing, leasing

TOKYO (Reuters) – Cash-rich Japanese banks are rushing into aircraft finance in the hope of getting fatter profit margins than straight corporate loans.

Banks including Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc (SMFG) (8316.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc (8306.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) are also venturing into aircraft leasing as more airlines opt out of owning fleets in favor of leaner balance sheets.

Sep 7, 2012

Banks hammer out Sharp refinancing before Hon Hai deal – sources

TOKYO (Reuters) – Banks are hammering out a refinancing plan for embattled Sharp Corp (6753.T: Quote, Profile, Research) without waiting for Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd (2317.TW: Quote, Profile, Research) to lend a helping hand through a stalled equity investment, sources at the lenders said.

A floor under its finances would ease the pressure on Sharp to accept an agreement that would make Hon Hai its largest shareholder and give it a say in its management. The pressure will now come from banks eager to see the century-old Japanese firm return to profit through deep cost cuts and improved productivity.

Sep 7, 2012

Banks hammer out Sharp refinancing without Hon Hai deal-sources

TOKYO, Sept 7 (Reuters) – Banks are hammering out a
refinancing plan for Sharp Corp without waiting for Hon
Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd to agree to buy a stake
in its struggling Japanese partner, sources at the lenders said,
as talks between the Apple Inc suppliers pause.

Mizuho Financial Group Inc and Mitsubishi UFJ
Financial Group Inc are aiming to arrange financing of
as much as 300 billion yen ($3.8 billion) for Sharp by as early
Sept. 20 in return for cost-cutting pledges and asset sales, two
sources told Reuters on condition they were not identified.

Jul 31, 2012

MUFG profit plunges, while Mizuho surges in Q1

TOKYO, July 31 (Reuters) – Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group
on Tuesday reported a 64 percent decline in its
financial first quarter, hurt by impairment losses on its stock
portfolio and the effect of a hefty one-time gain from its stake
in Morgan Stanley booked a year earlier.

Japan’s largest bank by assets and its rivals suffered sharp
falls in the value of their equity holding in a market slump
during the April-June period. The big banks, following
traditional Japanese business practice, hold massive portfolios
of their clients’ stock.

Jul 18, 2012

HSBC puts Vietnam insurance business up for sale: sources

By Denny Thomas and Taiga Uranaka

(Reuters) – HSBC Holdings has put its Vietnam insurance business on the block, sources said, in a deal that could fetch about $400 million for Europe’s biggest bank as it pushes to exit non-core operations globally.

HSBC is seeking buyers for its 18 percent stake in government-controlled Baoviet Holdings, the country’s top insurer, and is in talks with Japan’s Sumitomo Life for a potential deal, the sources, who had direct knowledge of the matter, told Reuters.

Jul 16, 2012

Manulife, Korea Life bid for ING assets: sources

HONG KONG/TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese group Dai-ichi Life Insurance (8750.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), Korea Life Insurance (088350.KS: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), and Canadian peer Manulife (MFC.TO: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) have submitted final round bids for parts of ING’s (ING.AS: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) Asian business, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Binding bids for Dutch lender ING’s Asian insurance and asset management operations, valued at about $7 billion, were due Monday.

Jul 16, 2012

Dai-ichi, Korea Life bid for ING’s SE Asia business

HONG KONG/TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s Dai-ichi Life Insurance Co Ltd (8750.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Korea Life (088350.KS: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) were first out of the blocks to submit second-round bids on Monday for ING’s (ING.AS: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) insurance operations in Southeast Asia, as the Dutch insurer moves to divest it Asian operations.

Binding bids for ING’s Asian insurance and asset management operations are due on Monday and a wide range of suitors, from the son of Asia’s richest man and a former rugby player in New Zealand to more established players including AIA Group (1299.HK: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Manulife Financial Corp (MFC.TO: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), are expected to place offers in a deal worth about $7 billion.

Jul 10, 2012

Mitsubishi suspends two London traders over Libor

TOKYO/LONDON (Reuters) – Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group has suspended two London-based traders as a result of a probe into the manipulation of interbank lending rates that is affecting a dozen or more major banks around the world.

BTMU, a core commercial banking unit of Mitsubishi UFJ, said the suspensions – which took effect last week – were not related to work done for the Japanese bank.

Jul 9, 2012

Japan’s biggest banks target Korean conglomerates for growth

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese banks, facing sluggish loan demand at home, are increasingly targeting South Korea where conglomerates such as Samsung Electronics (005930.KS: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Hyundai Motor (005380.KS: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) are seeking funds to expand globally.

With rival European lenders retreating as the region’s debt crisis heads towards its fourth year, well-capitalized Japanese banks find themselves at a competitive advantage. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (8306.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), Mizuho Financial Group (8411.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (8316.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) (SMFG), the country’s biggest banks, have formed teams to track the funding needs of South Korean firms looking to build chip factories and auto assembly lines abroad.

Jun 20, 2012

Mizuho agrees to buy WestLB Brazil unit for $380 million

TOKYO (Reuters) – Mizuho Financial Group (8411.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said on Wednesday it had agreed to buy a Brazilian unit of Germany’s WestLB WDLG.UL, the latest move by a Japanese bank to snap up assets amid the euro zone crisis.

Mizuho, Japan’s second-largest lender by assets, did not disclose the terms of the deal, but a source with knowledge of the matter said it was paying about 30 billion yen ($380 million) for the 100 percent stake in the Brazilian bank.